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Gretna to Arabi to New Orleans East, LA Tornado - March 22, 2022

 

Rating:
EF-3
Estimated Maximum Wind:
160 MPH
Injuries/Fatalities:
1 Fatality/2 known Injuries
Damage Path Length:
11.5 miles
Maximum Path Width:
320 yards
Approximate Start Point/Time:
7:21 PM CDT
1 E of Harvey, LA
Approximate End Point/Time:
7:38 PM CDT
3 SSW East New Orleans

 

A National Weather Service Damage Assessment Team has surveyed the storm damage over portions of metro New Orleans. It has been determined the damage was the result of a tornado. The tornado has been rated an EF-3 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. Damage estimates were consistent with winds of 160 mph.

The tornado touched down in Jefferson Parish, southwest of Terrytown. It moved northeast through Jefferson Parish and into Orleans Parish. As it moved northeast through the westbank suburbs of metro New Orleans, it caused minor tree damage as a well as minor structural damage. This damage consisted of minor roof, siding, and fence damage. There was video footage of the tornado crossing the Mississippi River and damage was found on the eastbank as it moved into St. Bernard Parish and into the community of Arabi.

The most intense damage was from the riverbank to the 40 Arpent Canal in Arabi. It was a very narrow and intense tornado with two areas of concentrated EF-3 damage. One area of concentrated EF-3 damage was a house that was swept off its raised foundation with all walls and the roof destroyed. This was near where the one recorded fatality occurred. Due to the poor construction, the damage to this house was rated an EF-3. The highest EF-3 rating was given to a house that was constructed in the last six months. While this house was raised on cinder blocks, every tower of blocks had strapping to the house. The house had additional strapping directly into the foundation as well as strapping from the cinder blocks to the foundation. The house itself held together, but it was shifted about 50 yards to the north and rotated about 90 degrees. The house next door was also swept of the foundation, moved, and mostly destroyed. This also had some evidence of strapping to the slab foundation. The damage to these homes is where the 160 mph EF-3 rating was attained.

Most, if not all, houses on the south to north path within a 4 block west to east range in the Arabi community received minor to substantial roof damage with many houses seeing exterior walls collapsed leaving only the interior rooms intact. The tornado also damaged electrical towers running along the 40 Arpent Canal levee before moving northeast across the canal and into the marshy areas of Bayou Bienvenue.

The tornado crossed the Intracoastal Waterway in New Orleans East and continued northeast into populated areas where several homes were damaged. The damage consisted of minor roof, siding, and tree damage as it moved through neighborhoods between Chef Menteur Highway and Joe Brown Park near Coronado Avenue. The tornado then lifted before entering Joe Brown Park.

Metro New Orleans tornado track of March 22, 2022
Surveyed damage track stretching from Gretna, LA through Arabi, LA and ending in New Orleans, LA

KLIX radar data for Arabi, LA tornado of 3/22/2022
KLIX WSR-88D radar data near Gretna, LA at 718 PM CDT 3/22/2022

KLIX radar data for Arabi, LA tornado of 3/22/2022
KLIX WSR-88D radar data near Arabi, LA at 730 PM CDT 3/22/2022

Track Comparison of the Arabi Tornado (March 22, 2022) to the New Orleans East Tornado (February 7, 2017)

Track Comparison to the 2017 EF3 New Orleans East Tornado

Only 2 F-/EF-3 or greater tornadoes on record* have tracked across Orleans, Jefferson or St. Bernard Parishes. Their tracks actually crossed paths in New Orleans East near Chef Menteur Blvd and Read Blvd.

(*NOAA tornado records go back to 1950)

 

 

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Home Blown Off Foundation

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Home swept off raised foundation

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Home swept off raised foundation

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