Baker, La Police Chief Mike Knapp says a tornado caused damage in Baker early Monday morning. The National Weather Service is on the scene to make an official determination.
Chief Knapp said it damaged the roof of a car wash on LA 19 in Baker. He said the area along South Magnolia Drive also received significant damage.
There are also reports of damage in the Lincoln Heights Subdivision off New Rafe Meyer Road in Alsen, which is near Baker. It is located south of South Magnolia Drive. A resident there said a neighbor's carport is in another neighbor's front yard.
People said there were two downed telephone poles, downed trees, shingles scattered about and damaged mailboxes in the neighborhood.
There were reports of damage from the Pride area as well. It has not been confirmed whether the damage was caused by a tornado. The rooftops of several sheds were seen scattered about. One witness said the damage was from LA 64 to Peairs Road.
There are also reports of damage in Livingston Parish. Specifics about the damage were not provided, but people said there was damage on Cane Market Road in Denham Springs. There were also reports of large hail in Watson.
In Ascension Parish officials report a tornado caused light to severe damage to residences and businesses in the Black Bayou Road area between Airline Highway and Highway 44. The 7th District Fire Department received heavy damage to the front of the building where glass and walls were destroyed. No reports of injuries or fatalities at this time. Other damage appears moderate at this time. This information comes from the Ascension Parish Facebook page.
Ascension Parish Director of Homeland Security Ricky Webre says the tornado has not been confirmed. They believe it may have been straight line winds. Webre is also the president of the fire department, he says the crew from the 7th District was working a traffic accident when they received an alarm about their own building.
Not far from the fire department, at Premier Performance Marine, employees believe something more than strong winds passed through.
Luke Armand says he and two other employees were checking the weather radar in the office when the front door blew open. Armand says he got up to shut the door, but it suddenly slammed closed and glass went everywhere. He says wind and rain came through the office and they all ran to take cover. Armand says he tried to make it to the back of the building.
"The back door blew open. Just as I got to the back door, the whole roof of the building flew out and over. I saw it go over my head and into the car dealership across the street," Armand said.
The National Weather Service in New Orleans issued a tornado watch for southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi. It has been extended to remain in effect until 3 p.m.
The following Louisiana parishes are included in the tornado watch area:
East Baton Rouge
West Baton Rouge
The following Mississippi counties fall into the tornado watch zone:
There are also power outages reported throughout the area, many associated with lines knocked down due to high winds. Drivers are urged to exercise extreme caution on the roadways and expect delays in some areas.
After the cold front passes, winds will be breezy and from the north. Wind gusts will be in the mid 20 mph range at times. Temperatures will actually drop during the daylight hours as cold air moves in behind the front. Afternoon temperatures are expected to be in the 50s.
Viewers are asked to stay extra cautious as it relates to weather. Be sure to monitor WAFB, WAFB.com and our social media accounts for the latest information.
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