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Church Point Tornado: EF3 with 150 mph winds

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Posted at 8:11 PM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 23:26:34-04

The National Weather Service Monday surveyed two of the tornadoes that ripped through portions of Acadiana Sunday evening, the strongest of which was the Church Point twister that was rated at as an EF3 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale with 150 mph winds.

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The tornado completely destroyed 5 homes, one of which was tossed 50 yards with three occupants, resulting in one fatality and two hospitalized with serious injuries.

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The Church Point tornado had a path length of 4 miles from the St Landry Parish Panhandle southeastward into Acadia Parish.

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The tornado in the Oakdale/Oberlin area was rated as an EF1 tornado with 100 mph winds.

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Below are the official surveys from the National Weather Service in Lake Charles:
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Public Information Statement National Weather Service Lake Charles LA 738 PM CDT Mon May 18 2020 ...

NWS Damage Survey for 05/17/20 Tornado Events... .

Richard/Church Point Tornado...
Rating: EF-3 Estimated Peak Wind: 150 MPH
Path length /Statute/: 4.0 Miles Path width /Maximum/: 100 Yards
Fatalities: 1 Injuries: 9
Start date: May 17 2020 Start time: 8:34 pm CDT Start location: 5 NW Church Point / Acadia / LA Start Lat/Lon: 30.4597 / -92.2678
End date: May 17 2020 End time: 8:41 pm CDT End location: 1 NW Church Point / Acadia / LA End_lat/lon: 30.4176 / -92.2234

Survey Summary: An EF-3 tornado was documented in parts of Acadia and St. Landry Parishes. It began near Gobert Rd and Pitreville Hwy, and crossed Grand Marais Rd, Prudence Hwy, St. Margaret Rd, Lawtell Hwy, and N Beaugh St. One home was picked up off its pilings and thrown 50 yards to its south, destroying the home. Three people were inside.

One person was killed, and the other two people are hospitalized with significant injuries. Nearby, 4 mobile homes were destroyed. Two were flipped in the air and separated from the frame, another one rolled over on top of an SUV, and the fourth was pulled off its blocks and had significant structural damage.

Two grain dryers were destroyed at a farm, and an 18 wheeler used to transport crops was picked up and flipped onto the road. The tornado ended on the city limits of Church Point where a large tree fell on a home. .

Oakdale/Oberlin Tornado...
Rating: EF-1 Estimated Peak Wind: 100 MPH
Path length /Statute/: 4.3 Miles Path width /Maximum/: 25 Yards
Fatalities: 0 Injuries: 0
Start date: May 17 2020 Start time: 5:41 pm CDT Start location: 5 SW Oakdale / Allen / LA Start Lat/Lon: 30.7461 / -92.7104
End date: May 17 2020 End time: 5:49 pm CDT End location: 7 S Oakdale / Allen / LA End_lat/lon: 30.7043 / -92.6558

Survey Summary: A small tornado touched down near US Hwy 165, a little south of the airport. It moved along parts of Ward Rd. Several trees were snapped or uprooted along the path.

EF Scale: The Enhanced Fujita Scale Classifies Tornadoes into the following categories.
EF0...Weak......65 to 85 MPH
EF1...Weak......86 to 110 MPH
EF2...Strong....111 to 135 MPH
EF3...Strong....136 to 165 MPH
EF4...Violent...166 To 200 MPH EF5...Violent...>200 MPH

Note: The information in this statement is preliminary and subject to change pending final review of the events and publication in NWS Storm Data. $$ Erickson

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