Tornadoes were reported in Louisiana and Florida Tuesday as a band of severe thunderstorms swept through the South. A possible tornado touchdown was reported in Cocoa Beach, south of Kennedy Space Center. The National Weather Service received reports of roof damage at a condominium complex, but no serious injuries were reported, authorities said.
A deputy reported sighting a tornado in St. Charles Parish in south Louisiana. Trees and power lines also were felled in the region. Hail and high wind was reported from Mississippi to Florida. Lea Stokes, spokeswoman for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, said three houses in Hinds County suffered damage, as did a mobile home in Copiah County. While parts of the state were under a tornado watch, and meteorologists saw possible tornadoes on radar, no actual touchdowns were reported.
# Tornado in Mississippi sucked woman up as she was leaving hospital
# Boats broke loose in the Port of New Orleans due to high winds
# There was no indication of serious levee damage, official says
# Possible tornado damaged a condominium complex in Florida's Cocoa Beach
A Cocoa Beach firefighter does a damage assessment at the Windrush condominiums in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AP) -- Tornadoes and other severe weather raked the Deep South on Tuesday, pushing Mississippi River ships around like toys, damaging homes and killing at least one person. A tornado near a hospital sucked up a woman who had just left after visiting, killing her, officials said. Several river vessels broke loose in the winds, said Port of New Orleans spokeswoman Cynthia Swain. A freighter docked at the Andry Street Wharf was pushed across the river and collided with two vessels downstream. The Coast Guard also said a ship was grounded on the riverbank. There were no indications of serious levee damage, and the ship was not sinking, said Chris Bonura, another spokesman for the port. The river remained open, and there were no reports of injuries, Swain said.
A woman was killed by a tornado after leaving the Lallie Kemp Regional Medical Center in Independence, Louisiana, at the height of the storm against advice, said Sherre Pack-Hookfin, the hospital's acting administrator. Falling trees damaged more than two dozen vehicles parked at the hospital, and an equipment storage trailer was flipped on its side. The National Weather Service confirmed it was a tornado, one of several reported throughout the afternoon. A possible tornado damaged a condominium complex in Florida's Cocoa Beach, near Kennedy Space Center, said Brevard County Fire and Rescue. No serious injuries were reported, and shuttle operations were not affected, authorities said. Homes were damaged in Hinds County, Mississippi, said Lea Stokes, spokeswoman for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency. Thousands of customers lost power at points in Mississippi.
The storms follow catastrophic weather last week that produced the deadliest tornado outbreak in years, though that was to the north of Tuesday's track.