High Winds Leave Heavy Damage in Hurricane-Hit Areas of New Orleans

February 3, 2006

A violent thunderstorm swept through neighborhoods in New Orleans hit hard by Hurricane Katrina, tearing off roofs, knocking down utility poles and collapsing at least one previously storm-damaged house early on Feb. 2, authorities said.

No serious injuries were reported.

The storm ripped part of a roof off Louis Armstrong International Airport, then hit the suburb of Kenner and the hurricane-ravaged lakefront area of New Orleans where at least one house collapsed, police said.

Authorities said a state police communications tower also fell across a roadway.

At the airport, a piece of roof was torn off a concourse, and a jetway used to load passengers was torn off and slammed into another jetway, said airport spokeswoman Michelle Duffourc. The airport was left on emergency power, grounding passenger service.

Although ground equipment at the airport was turned over by the high winds, no airplanes were damaged, Duffourc said.

The National Weather Service had yet not determined whether a tornado had hit. The thunderstorm moved at more than 50 mph (80 kph) across the New Orleans region around 2:30 a.m.

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