DONALDSONVILLE – Donaldsonville is recovering from tornadoes earlier this week that wrecked homes and property and left 1,500 Entergy customers without power.
The tornadoes were part of a weather event that had Gov. John Bel Edwards call a state of emergency as tornadoes struck down throughout southeast Louisiana including New Orleans. There were no reported deaths but many were sent to the emergency room with injuries throughout the state.
Entergy crews worked through Wednesday night to restore power in Donaldsonville that saw a tornado cause serious damage along St. Patrick Street and near CF Industries on the way to Lemannville. Other places hit hard were areas of St. James Parish and Killian in Livingston Parish with as many as five tornadoes touching down in the state some more than once.
Donaldsonville Mayor Leroy Sullivan estimated nearly 60 percent of the city was left without power by the unexpected February storm that thrived on warm and wet weather. The parish school system had several shelter in place drills at different times during the storm that earlier threatened Geismar and Prairieville.
The tornado caused major damage along several blocks of St. Patrick Street before interrupting a parish park and damaging the roof the school board office on the way to CF Industries, which had all employees accounted for, and then severely damaging the Ark Veterinary Clinic. Power lines inside the city limits, along River Road and in Lemannville were also damaged.
Emergency officials hope the cumulative damage throughout the state will lead to a declaration of federal disaster. A Red Cross shelter was set up but was closed on Wednesday after no one checked in. The Bikur Sholin Cemetery, established along St. Patrick Street in 1856 with elaborate old headstones and a wrought iron fence, was spared but several of Jeff Henry’s properties near were damaged.