Confirmed tornado leaves significant damage in Amite, but no injuries

Confirmed tornado leaves significant damage in Amite, but no injuries

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The National Weather Service confirmed the damage in Amite on Tuesday was caused by a tornado.

Officials said it touched down between 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. The NWS reported more than a dozen homes were damaged, with some of that damage being significant. Several mobile homes were reportedly damaged or destroyed.

According to officials, most of the damage was on Leander Lane, but there was also some significant damage on Chappepeela Ridge Road. The Red Cross said as of now, it is not sending a team to Amite. Officials said they are monitoring the situation and will respond as the needs of residents change.

In the wake of the devastating weather in Louisiana and Mississippi on Tuesday, many people will be spending Christmas displaced from their homes.

The governor of Mississippi declared a state of emergency in two counties Tuesday night where four people were killed. Louisiana residents were also hit by damage.

Officials in two southwest Mississippi counties are scrambling to help residents left in the dark after a powerful line of storms ripped through the region. Officials said a tornado killed two people in Columbia, a town located near Hattiesburg and two others also died in the neighboring county. Hospitals reported they are overwhelmed with injured patients. Nightfall is making clean up difficult and hazardous.

"Mississippi highway patrols, obviously, here for Marion County and for the city of Columbia," a spokesman with Mississippi State Police said. "We have every available resource in the southern region of the state. Highway patrols are going to be out around the clock rotating shifts out."

Officials reported about 15 homes in Amite were damaged by another tornado. Most of those were classified as major damage. Fortunately, officials believe no one was injured.

"God was with all of us," said Chief Bruce Cutrer with the Amite Fire Department. "My closest neighbor here, he was home and he was able to get in a small area of his house and it destroyed the roof on his house, but he wasn't injured."

Gov. Bobby Jindal's office sent an emergency crisis team to help with cleanup and crews are working to restore any lost power.

"They've worked so hard to build up what they've got now and it's just very, very sad," said Tangipahoa Parish President Gordon Burgess.

According to the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP), there have been no requests for state assistance by parish governments.

In addition to heavy rainfall and frequent lightning, people across parts of southeast Louisiana reported pea sized and quarter sized hail.

The front behind the line of thunderstorms will leave Louisiana and Mississippi with a cool, dry Christmas Eve. Christmas Day looks to be a bit on the chilly side, but with sunny skies and highs in the mid 50s.

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