Gov Edwards Tours Storm Damaged Area In North La.

Apr 14, 2020

SEVERELY DAMAGED - One of several homes in the Monroe, Louisiana area that was damaged when two tornadoes struck on Easter Sunday 04.12.20
Credit Courtesy: City of Monroe, LA Facebook

STORM DAMAGE TOUR - Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards says “it's just too early to know” when the state can begin loosening social distancing mandates.  Edwards was in Monroe, Louisiana touring the area which was struck by two tornadoes on Easter Sunday.

"We did issue an emergency declaration regarding tornado damage across five parishes in North Louisiana," explained Edwards. "No parish was damaged more than Ouachita parish."

The Two tornadoes that touched down in Monroe and West Monroe damaged homes, businesses, and the regional airport.  The path was approximately two miles, no storm-related deaths in the Monroe  area were reported.

As to the Coronavirus impact statewide, Edwards said rates of growth in serious Covid-19 infections continue to improve. But he cautioned that there were signs that many residents did not practice social distancing nor stay at home on the Easter weekend.

"And all it takes to have a spike in cases and go back in the other direction if for too many people to violate the order," Edwards said. " So I'm asking everyone to do better."

Governor John Bel Edward during press conference held in Monroe, LA on 04.13.20
Credit Courtesy: City of Monroe, LA Facebook

Governor Edwards also announced that Louisiana Students will not be returning to school for the remainder of the academic year as the state is still coping with Coronavirus illness mitigation measures. More than 21,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Louisiana,  there have also been 884 deaths statewide. 

The tornadoes that caused damage in Benton, Louisiana and in south Webster Parish on Easter Sunday were each rated as EF-1, according to the National Weather Service.  The Benton tornado had an estimated peak wind of 105 miles per hour and had a path width of 125 yards. The tornado had a travel distance less than a half-mile.