A large and extremely dangerous tornado made landfall in Alexandria, Louisiana, on Monday. After a weather warning was issued across parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, the storm hit the northwest portions of Alexandria early afternoon on December 16.
Reports of damage slowly started emerge as the day went on. Users online shared video and photos of the damage on social media. At least one person was killed by the extreme weather in Rosepine, according to sheriff’s deputies and the state’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
The tornado warning for Alexandria was first issued around 12:30 p.m. local time. The National Weather Service declared a tornado emergency for the area, which is home to about 47,000 people. A tornado emergency means there is a severe threat to human life and catastrophic damage is imminent or ongoing.
Weather Nation tweeted updates of the damage. They shared, “We’re getting our first look at the damage left behind in Louisiana as tornadoes trek across several parishes in the southern portion of the state. Here’s a look at the scene from Pineville, just north of Alexandria.”
The tornado had earlier hit the community of Webster Parish, for which AMS chief meteorologist Jeff Castle of KSLA shared photos of the damage in the area. Webster is about 115 miles northwest of Alexandria, and the tornado destroyed at least two homes in the area. Parish Sheriff Gary Sexton said that fallen trees were block at least three highways located east of Shreveport.
The damage in the area was vast. A photo taken near Hope Baptist School, a private academy, and Hope Baptist Church, located in Rapides Parish of Alexandria, showed multiple structures completely obliterated by the cyclone. Both buildings are located on Louisiana Highway 28, which is south of the airport in Alexandria.
West of Alexandria, damage was also reported in Vernon Parish. The Sheriff’s Office said there were reports of downed trees and power lines in the area after emergency personnel responded to the affected area.
The Path Of The Tornado: From De Ridder to Alexandria, Louisiana
The formation of the tornado and how it traveled to Alexandria was described by Highway & Hailstones. “A significant supercell exploded southwest of De Ridder, LA in the late-morning hours of December 16th. This supercell produced a long-track tornado near De Ridder, which moved northeast. It is likely that this tornado lifted and a new one formed near highway 121, before making a straight line toward Alexandria, but not enough information is currently available.”
There was significant debris from the tornado before crossing Coliseum Boulevard, just south of Alexandria’s International Airport, where a tornado emergency was issued.
The Tornado Touching Down In Rosepine Was Captured On Video
Before the large tornado made its way to Alexandria, Louisiana locals Tommy and Heather Welch captured the cyclone touching down in their backyard in Rosepine. In the terrifying video, it’s possible to see just how large the tornado had grown since the weather warning were issued that morning.