A tornado has damaged an airport and several homes in Monroe, Louisiana, as a widespread outbreak of severe storms develops in the South.
Damage was also reported in Kingston, Louisiana.
Sadly, this is expected to play out all across the South today as an Easter Sunday severe weather outbreak is unfolding.— Shawn Reynolds (@ShawnReynolds_) April 12, 2020
This is tornado damage in Monroe, LA. pic.twitter.com/of8bFJlAbz
The National Weather Service declared a tornado emergency for Monroe in Ouachita Parish at 11:44 a.m. CDT.
Doppler radar confirmed a large and destructive tornado was hitting parts of the city.
At least 20 homes have been damaged in the Sunflower Subdivision of Monroe, according to a local media.
The city of Monroe Twitter account said, “We have reports of wind (or tornado) damage in multiple locations in Monroe.“
Images on social media showed several damaged planes and buildings ripped apart at Monroe Regional Airport.
About 45 miles west of Monroe, dozens of trees sheared off in the story blocked eastbound Interstate 20, according to KSLA.
The Shreveport Times said the NWS reported tornadoes in four parishes earlier Sunday: Lincoln, Bienville, DeSoto and Webster parishes.
Mark Pierce, a spokesman for the Desoto Parish Sheriff’s Office, told weather.com that multiple trees and power lines were down in Kingston and surrounding areas, and a few mobile homes were hit. A large tree was blocking U.S. Highway 84 heading into Mansfield.
“We’ve had some pretty significant damage,” Pierce said.
He said the sheriff and road crews were still out assessing the impacts, but there had not been any reports of injuries.
Severe weather until tomorrow
The dangerous severe weather outbreak is expected to last until Monday.
The severe threat stretches from the lower Mississippi Valley to parts of the East Coast.
A number of tornadoes may be strong and have long tracks.
Widespread damaging wind gusts and large hail are also possible.
A threat for flooding rainfall is a concern, as well.
Here’s a look at the timing state by state. Locations within each state won’t experience severe weather for the entire time windows shown, but this is general guidance on when each state as a whole may experience severe weather:
Louisiana: Mid-morning Sunday – Sunday evening
Arkansas: Late-morning Sunday – Sunday evening
Mississippi: Late morning Sunday – mid-evening Sunday
Tennessee: Sunday evening – Monday morning
Alabama: Mid-afternoon Sunday – very early Monday
Georgia: Sunday evening – late morning Monday
South Carolina: Late night Sunday – midday Monday
North Carolina: Overnight Sunday – early afternoon Monday.
Do not let the virus prevent you from seeking refuge from a tornado. If a public tornado shelter is your best available refuge from severe weather, take steps to ensure you follow CDC guidelines for physical distancing and disease prevention.