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Storm damage reported in Rapides Parish

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Posted at 2:52 PM, Dec 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-16 17:57:14-05

ALEXANDRIA, La. — There is storm damage being reported in Rapides Parish near Alexandria and Pineville.

There is extensive damage reported in the parish and residents are asked to stay home if they do not have to be out. Reports of power outages with Beauregard Electric have also been reported.

KATC is receiving reports that school children in Alexandria had to seek shelter in a nearby church before their school was decimated by a tornado.

According to Amanda Tyson of Alexandria, her children attend Hope Baptists School in Alexandria.

"The kids left the school to seek shelter in the church," Tyson told KATC. "The school is completely gone and the roof came off the church and they were under pews. Glass was flying. So glad God watched over the kids. If they would have stayed they would not have made it."

Here's video from the Alexandria Airport's fire department of the tornado:

The Pineville Police Department is also reporting that Kees Park in Pineville is now being opened as an emergency shelter. Red Cross in the process of getting resources together to support.

Numerous trees and power lines have been downed.

PPD is also reporting several roads blocked due to downed trees and powerlines.

The National Weather Service has created a very probable tornado damage path for the Alexandria tornado based on the radar signature. The path length has been estimated at 63 miles.

One fatality has been confirmed by the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office and several more have been rumored.

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La 28 West at Vandenburg Drive, a Chevron gas station was destroyed. Emergency responders rescued people from the structure.
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La 28 West at Stovall Road, a Church was destroyed.

Below are photos of possible tornado damage captured by Tommy Dever along Highway 28 West near the Walmart.

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Storm damage to a building along Hwy 28 W in Rapides Parish.
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The storm caused damage to power lines along Hwy 28 in Rapides Parish.

Heavy storm damage to homes in Pineville is also being reported. Below are photos from Scott Perrin in Pineville of his in-laws' house.

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Severe storm damage to a home in Pineville.
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Storm damage caused several trees in Rapides Parish to fall.