(from the National Weather Service) – Friday, December 6th, marks the 30th anniversary of the LaPlace Tornado, one of the most powerful tornadoes recorded in southeast Louisiana. The violent tornado touched down at 1:05 AM CST on Dec 6, 1983 and ripped a 5 mile long path across Reserve and LaPlace in St John the Baptist Parish. 25 to 30 homes were destroyed and 25 people were injured, some seriously. The Belle Pointe subdivision west of LaPlace was particularly hard hit. A few homes were swept off their foundation. Meteorologists from the New Orleans Office, as well as research meteorologists from the University of Chicago, conducted ground and aerial surveys of the damage documenting the damage caused by this unusually violent tornado.
Violent tornadoes are rare in the central Gulf Coast region. Since 1950, only three violent tornadoes, (F4/F5) have been recorded in the Parish/County Warning Area served by New Orleans-Baton Rouge Weather Forecast Office. Besides the LaPlace tornado, the other F4 tornadoes that have documented in the area since 1950 were :
Oct 3, 1964 – A violent tornado associated with Hurricane Hilda struck Larose, Lafourche Parish, killing 22 people and injuring 354 people.
Jan 10, 1975 814AM – a violent tornado moved across portions of Amite and Pike Counties in southwest MS . 9 people were killed, and 210 injured.