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Photos: Punishing storms devastate Louisiana

Weather Louisiana

The destruction in Killona, some 38km (30 miles) west of New Orleans. [Gerald Herbert/AP Photo]

Punishing tornadoes have battered the US state of Louisiana from north to south, killing at least three people and causing widespread damage on buildings, including houses.

The storms barrelled eastwards on Wednesday after killing a mother and son in the northwestern part of the state a day earlier. The system spun off a suspected tornado that killed a woman on Wednesday in southeast Louisiana’s St Charles Parish and another that pummelled parts of New Orleans and neighbouring Jefferson and St Bernard parishes – including areas badly damaged by a tornado in March.

A tornado struck New Iberia, Louisiana, slightly injuring five people and smashing out windows of a multistory building at Iberia Medical Center. As night drew on, tornado threats eased in Mississippi, although some counties in Florida and Alabama remained under a severe weather threat.

New Orleans emergency director Collin Arnold said businesses and residences in the city suffered significant wind damage, largely on the Mississippi River’s west bank. One home collapsed. Four people were injured there, he said, adding, “The last word we had is that they were stable.”

Similar damage was reported nearby.

In St Bernard Parish – where the March twister caused devastation – Sheriff Jimmy Pohlman said the latest tornado damage covered a roughly 3.2km (2-mile) stretch. Parish President Guy McInnis said the damage was less than in the March tornado though numerous roofs were blown away or damaged.

Authorities in St Charles Parish, west of New Orleans, said a woman was found dead there after a suspected tornado on Wednesday struck the community of Killona along the Mississippi River, damaging homes. Eight people were taken to hospitals with injuries, they said.

About 450km (280 miles) away, in northern Louisiana, it took hours for authorities to find the bodies of a mother and child missing after a tornado swept away their mobile home o Tuesday in Keithville, south of Shreveport.

Weather Louisiana

A damaged chicken farm in Pelahatchi, Mississippi. Sheriff Bryan Bailey said the bad weather destroyed four large chicken houses, one containing 5,000 chickens, in Mississippi’s Rankin county. [Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey via AP]

Weather Louisiana

This mobile home community in Ruleville, Mississippi, was flooded by torrential rains that accompanied destructive storms in parts of the US. [Rogelio V Solis/AP Photo]

Weather Louisiana

Debris is piled up following severe weather, in Keithville, Louisiana. The Caddo Parish coroner’s office said the body of eight-year-old Nikolus Little was found late on Tuesday in some woods and the body of his mother, Yoshiko A Smith, 30, under storm debris early on Wednesday. Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Sergeant. Casey Jones said the boy’s father had gone for groceries before the storm. “He just went to go shopping for his family, came home and the house was gone,” said Jones. [Jake Bleiberg/AP Photo]

Weather Louisiana

Debris, including twisted sheet metal wrapped around a tree, is strewn about following severe weather in Keithville. [Jake Bleiberg/AP Photo]

Weather Louisiana

A utility worker checks lines following severe weather in Keithville, Louisiana. Local authorities reported more than 40,000 power outages statewide. [Jake Bleiberg/AP Photo]

Weather Louisiana

Chelsi Bovie holds her niece’s dog that she rescued from her home after a tornado tore through the area in Killona. [Gerald Herbert/AP Photo]

Weather Louisiana

Destruction is seen from a tornado that tore through the area in Killona. [Gerald Herbert/AP Photo]

Weather Louisiana

A home that was heavily damaged by a tornado in Killona. [Gerald Herbert/AP Photo]

Weather Louisiana

Allyson Mitchell walks in the rain after she arrived to help her niece whose home was destroyed by a tornado that tore through the area. [Gerald Herbert/AP Photo]

Weather Louisiana

People help each other through the rubble in Killona. [Gerald Herbert/AP Photo]

Weather Louisiana

An energy company employee checks on gas lines. [Gerald Herbert/AP Photo]

Weather Louisiana

A collapsed building in Arabi, Louisiana. [Matthew Hinton/AP Photo]

Weather Louisiana

Forecasters now expect the volatile weather system to hobble the upper Midwest with ice, rain and snow for days, and also move into the central Appalachians and Northeast. [Matthew Hinton/AP Photo]

Weather Louisiana

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch from Wednesday night through Friday afternoon, depending on the timing of the storm. Residents from West Virginia to Vermont were told to watch for a possible significant mix of snow, ice and sleet. [Matthew Hinton/AP Photo]

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