Tornado Warning for Ville Platte, State of Louisiana
At least three people were injured and thousands were without power Sunday after a storm system and possible tornadoes ripped through Acadiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards said. Edwards visited Ville Platte to survey damage from a possible tornado that damaged or destroyed at least 50 homes and businesses in the town and surrounding communities about 8:30 a.m. Sunday. He said possible tornadoes may also have caused damage in Allen, Beauregard and St. Helena parishes. Acadia and St. Landry parishes also sustained storm damage. The three storm-related injuries were non-life threatening, Edwards said. "Fortunately, there has not been any loss of life," he said. "Thousands remain without power; there are downed trees and broken electric poles. We are asking everyone to be very cautious and heed all warnings by their local officials." More than 22,000 people in the region were without power. Nearly every resident in Ville Platte - about 6,500 people - were without electricity Sunday. The governor's office said power could be out for two to three days. Edwards also reminded residents to use caution as they clear debris and travel in the coming days. Snapped trees, branches, power lines and power poles littered the small town in Evangeline Parish. Deepthi Nalli and her husband drug branches to the curb and raked piles of twigs. Nalli, who has lived in the home on Lasalle street for about six years, was woken up by the storm at about 5 a.m. "It sounded like something literally blew up," she said. "It came out of nowhere. It was quick and scary." Her home didn't sustain much damage, but now she's worried about food in the fridge and when the power will come back on. The lack of power sent Christina Thomas and her family outside. They pulled out a charcoal grill to cook on. The storm caused a tree branch to fall on Thomas' truck, which she was able to clear later. She said it sounded as if branches were knocking against the back room where she huddled with her husband and four children. Thomas also hopes the power will come back on soon. "Our phones are out of power. And it's hard to entertain the kids when there's no power," she said. "Especially at night." Students were slated to be out of school Monday, which means no buses will be on the roads, Edwards said. Faculty and staff should still report to work. The state is still under an emergency declaration issued by Edwards last week. Louisiana State Police are sending additional troopers to assist the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office and the Ville Platte Police Department.