The National Weather Service announced that a New Orleans tornado tore a half-mile path through Tremé on Thursday evening, August 4.
The tornado touched down around 3:30 p.m. at Marais and Annette Street, and finished at Philip St. and North Claiborne Ave. That is where a two-story wooden house experienced what New Orleans Fire Department representative Edwin Holmes calls a “complete “pancake” collapse.”
The winds reached 80 miles an hour and classified as an EF0 tornado. Eyewitnesses photographed the funnel cloud downtown. On North Villere Street, the winds apparently blew a trampoline into the air. They found it tangled in electrical power lines.
The storm destroyed nearly six buildings and homes total.
At North Claiborne and Ursuline’s Avenue, the back of a two-story building collapsed. Luckily no one lived in the home. The structure at 1326 Kerlerec St. tumbled down, damaging homes on at least one side. Damage also occurred to different structures at North Claiborne Avenue and Dumaine Street, and another at North Villere Street and Ursulines Avenue.
Emergency medical workers rescued two individuals and took them to the hospital. One of the injuries originated from the St. Philip House. However, the wounds were not life-threatening. The rescue dog at the fire department also searched the three collapsed homes and found no additional victims.
The area near the 1100 block of North Claiborne at St. Philip was covered with debris and was closed off to vehicles and pedestrians overnight. Firefighters and utility personnel continued working “numerous calls of trees and power lines down in various areas of the city” Thursday evening.
Two force shafts also snapped at the intersection of Annette and Henriette Delille boulevards. As a result, power blackouts at one point numbered upwards of 29,000.
Building inspectors were analyzing structural damage in Tremé. Furthermore, authorities said St. Philip Street would stay shut down through Friday while debris is cleaned up and broken utility posts were replaced.
Leilah Mayer, a resident of St. Anthony Street, sent in a video from a security camera at her home. The video shows debris from a roof that collapsed next door exploding through the air as the tornado passed by.