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UPDATE: Governor signs emergency declaration for tornadoes

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Posted at 12:54 PM, Apr 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-12 21:20:47-04

Gov. John Bel Edwards on Sunday declared a State of Emergency following severe weather in the state, which included large hail and several strong tornadoes.

Edwards will tour tornado damage in North Louisiana on Monday.

During the early morning on April 12, a line of severe thunderstorms moved across Louisiana, bringing with it heavy rainfall, wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour, large hail (two inches in diameter or greater), flash flooding and strong tornado activity. There already are reported power outages, downed trees and significant damage to structures in multiple parishes, including Ouachita, Bossier and DeSoto. Ouachita Parish has declared a state of emergency and additional parishes may follow suit.

“Sunday’s severe weather impacted multiple parishes in Louisiana, with reported tornadoes and large hail. I am declaring this emergency in order to make sure the parishes that are impacted, and any additional areas that may see severe weather into the night, are able to get assistance from the state,” Gov. Edwards said. “The damage is devastating and is a good reminder that everyone in Louisiana should stay weather aware. Please monitor local media for information about weather in your area and follow the directions of your local officials.”

Click here [gov.louisiana.gov] to read the declaration.

Earlier today, reports are coming in about damage in West Monroe.

Mayor Staci Albritton Mitchell posted photos and some information.

Here's her post:

Shortly after the storm passed through, the News-Star reported that communities around the Millhaven area and Interstate 20 at Pecanland Mall have been severely damaged by a tornado.

A tornado was confirmed on the ground in the area around 11:45 a.m.

Here's some video from the area:

The City of Monroe is reporting major damage at the airport:

Police are searching homes in the region for injuries. Commercial structures were also damaged on both sides of the interstate.

To read the story, click here.

The city is reporting damage, downed power lines, and is asking people to stay inside:

Damage is reported to the city's airport:

Here's a tweet showing some of the damage in the area: