One of the tornadoes that ripped through Louisiana Sunday night packed a punch in Acadia Parish, according to forecasters.
The National Weather Service (NWS) office in Lake Charles said Monday night the tornado that left a trail of destruction was an EF-3 tornado with winds of 150 mph.
The twister touched down around 8:34 p.m. CDT near Gobert Road and Pitreville Highway about 5 miles northwest of the town of Church Point.
Forecasters said the tornado picked one mobile home off its pilings and threw it 50 yards onto a highway, destroying the structure. Of the three people inside the home, one was killed and two were hospitalized with “significant injuries.”
Four other mobile homes nearby were destroyed.
“Two were flipped in the air and separated from the frame, another one rolled over on top of an SUV, and the fourth was pulled off its blocks and had significant structural damage,” forecasters said in their summary.
The tornado traveled about 4 miles in seven minutes, destroying two grain dryers at a farm and flipping an 18-wheeler onto a roadway. The tornado eventually ended at the city limits of Church Point, where a large tree fell on a home.
A total of nine people were injured.
According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, the most common and practical way to determine the strength of a tornado is estimating wind speeds by assessing the damage caused. The Enhanced Fujita Scale or EF Scale, used since 2007, is the National Weather Service’s method for rating tornadoes.
The EF scale uses indicators, including damage to different types of structures such as barns, mobile homes, trees and schools, according to the NWS forecast office in Norman, Okla.
The Storm Prediction Center said tornadoes estimated to be an EF-3 are considered “strong,” with winds between 136 and 165 mph. Twisters in this third-strongest category create “severe” damage.
Tornado season typically peaks in May when more than 250 twisters are reported.
Severe weather outbreaks across the South and Southern Plains earlier this year have made 2020 the deadliest year for tornadoes since 2011, with at least 74 killed so far.
by Travis Fedschun (2020, May 19) Fox News