Over 5,000 homes have tornado damage, EF3 strongest ever in Orleans Parish

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu gave an update on the relief efforts underway in New Orleans East at a press conference this afternoon.

Flanked by nearly a dozen elected and emergency relief officials, Landrieu rattled off a string of numbers to put the immensity of the damage and relief efforts into perspective.

“The situation, as difficult as it is, seems to be moving along as well as possible,” Landrieu said. “We think that potentially 5,143 structures were impacted in some way, although it appears now that about 300 structures were completely damaged, and another 643 more seriously damaged. As of today, we have 33 total injuries reported. Five or six are rather serious injuries, but only two people remain in the hospital.”

Full power should be restored within three to five days, Landrieu said, with 250 Entergy crews working overtime.

Ken Graham, meteorologist-in-charge for the National Weather Service New Orleans, said the tornado that touched down in New Orleans East has been classified as an EF3.

“With an EF3, we’re looking at [winds] somewhere around 140 miles an hour,” Graham said. “Looking back at the records…we can’t find another one.”

Other local areas have had tornadoes as strong in the recent past, but there has never been an EF3 in Orleans Parish, Graham said.

“This is the first time we have had one in Weather Service history,” he said.

Landrieu said he has been in touch with the White House and is expecting a Federal Emergency Declaration.

Watch the entire press conference below: