BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — Several tornadoes cut a swath of damage across southeastern Louisiana and Mississippi on Tuesday, injuring at least 30 people, knocking down a water tower and destroying homes and businesses, according to forecasters and emergency officials.
St. James Parish Sheriff Willy Martin Jr. told several local media outlets that one person was killed and numerous others were injured when an apparent tornado hit the Sugar Hill RV Park in the town of Convent.
The Advocate newspaper, citing Martin, said the storm leveled most of the estimated 160 mobile homes in the park, but it was not clear how many residents were home or injured.
Acadian ambulance services in Louisiana said it had taken 28 people from the mobile home park in St. James Parish to area hospitals and another three patients from nearby Assumption Parish, west of New Orleans, according to the agency’s Twitter feed.
More severe weather was expected Tuesday evening as the storm system moved east, forecasters said.
Weather officials were tracking more than a dozen reports of tornadoes in the region on Tuesday afternoon, said Mike Efferson, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in New Orleans.
About 31,000 customers were without power in Louisiana, according to Entergy Louisiana, the main electricity supplier in the area.
In Assumption Parish, a tornado knocked down a water tower and damaged homes, said Deputy Robert Martin of the Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Up to 20 homes were reported destroyed, and firefighters rescued residents with minor injuries from four homes, said John Boudreaux, Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness in Assumption Parish.
Residents reported damage to homes from tornadoes and golf ball-sized hail on the Mississippi Gulf Coast as the system barreled across the South, Efferson said.
“It’s still going, and this system is going to continue to have a threat for tornadoes as it moves east through the night into Mississippi and Alabama,” he said.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryan declared a state of emergency for areas expected to be affected by the storm.
Schools and government offices canceled classes or closed early in Louisiana and Mississippi as severe weather warnings lined up from Louisiana to Florida and Georgia.
The National Weather Service said Alabama could see tornadoes with damaging winds up to 70 mph and hail early Wednesday.
By midnight, the severe weather was expected to hit southwestern Georgia and could reach Atlanta and central Georgia before the morning rush hour Wednesday, said Adam Baker, a meteorologist for the weather service’s Atlanta office.