Four tornadoes confirmed across Rapides parish

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) – Enhanced Fujita Scale

EF0…Weak……65 to 85 MPH
EF1…Weak……86 to 110 MPH
EF2…Strong….111 to 135 MPH
EF3…Strong….136 to 165 MPH
EF4…Violent…166 To 200 MPH
EF5…Violent…>200 MPH

The National Weather Service in Lake Charles has completed its survey of the damage in Rapides parish and they have confirmed that four tornadoes struck the area Sunday. Three of the tornadoes were spawned from the same Supercell thunderstorm, while a fourth tornado, across northern Rapides, came from a secondary storm.

The first tornado began near Glenmora/Forest Hill around 1:35pm. It was an EF1 with winds of 105 mph and had a width of 50 yards. It’s path length was 7.4 miles before it ended at 1:50pm. According to the NWS, pine trees were snapped between Glenmora and Forest Hill. No injuries or fatalities were reported with this tornado.

This same storm dropped another tornado near Woodworth around 1:55pm. This tornado was both stronger and larger, being rated an EF2, with winds of 115 mph, and having a width of 800 yards. This tornado was on the ground for 5.5 miles and ended at 2:10pm. The tornado began near Bayou Clear and moved north across Bayou Clear Road where four homes were damaged by falling trees. The tornado continued north across Castor Plunge Road. Many pine trees were uprooted or snapped. Fortunately, most of the path of this tornado was across forested area. No injuries or fatalities occurred.

The storm continued north, where it dropped another tornado as it moved into downtown Alexandria. This storm affected mainly the west and southwestern portions of the city. This tornado began at 2:13pm five miles southwest of the city. It had a rating of EF-1, with winds of 105 mph, and a width of 500 yards. It was on the ground for 5.4 miles. The tornado later dissipated around 2:26pm before reaching I-49. Survey found that the tornado touched down near US 165 and Bowie Drive, blowing down several trees, damaging a gas station awning, and blowing the doors in. It crossed to the west side of US 165 where it hit residential areas, including Cherokee Village and Plantation Acres where many trees were downed, some landing on homes, garages, and vehicles. Buildings had minor roof damage, such as shingles ripped off. The tornado continued into the business district, along Jackson Street, where it lifted parts of flat roofs off of businesses. Some of the flying debris broke windows of vehicles and businesses in the area, as well as large billboard and other signage. The tornado continued north, crossing the intersection of LA 28 and US Hwy 165, and dissipated before it reached I-49. No injuries or fatalities reported with this tornado.

A secondary storm moved through Alexandria about an hour later, not producing severe weather for the city. However, the storm gained rotation as it moved north of the city, dropping a weak tornado in the northern portions of the parish. The tornado began near Lena at 3:20pm. It was rated an EF-0 with winds of 60 mph. It had a very small width of 10 yards and was only on the ground for about a tenth of a mile. Storm chasers filmed this weak tornado on I-49 near Lena. No significant damage was found in the region.

This storm and rotation appears to have continued into southeastern Grant and LaSalle parishes, but this area is covered by the National Weather Service in Shreveport. That office has not finished its findings on tornadoes in that area. We will post the information when we receive it.

Posted: Tue 8:30 AM, Apr 04, 201

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Kyrie Wagner