When he saw a tornado forming in the distance Sunday morning in Galliano, Travis Moore realized he and his family were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“We were driving back from Grand Isle on La. 3235 and at that point it was not really raining,” said the Baton Rouge resident, who was passing through Galliano when the twister touched down. “I looked off to the left and probably about a half mile there was this little funnel cloud that kind of looked like a waterspout. Then all of a sudden I started seeing dirt flying around and it got bigger.”
About 9:46 a.m. a thunderstorm produced a tornado that touched down along La. 3235 between Cut Off and Galliano, said Fred Zeigler, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Slidell.
“We had some roof damage to several homes and buildings, and there were some vehicles pushed into a field and power lines knocked down,” Zeigler said. “There were several videos posted online showing some of the damage as well as circulation developing over Galliano during that time. Based on what we’ve seen in the videos, we believe it was most likely a tornado.”
Parish officials reported damage and debris along La. 1 and La. 308 including downed power lines. Firefighters combed the area and checked the structural stability of buildings affected by the twister, parish officials said.
Golden Meadow resident Gilbert St. Pierre Jr. was getting coffee for his two daughters at the Sonic Drive-In on La. 3235 when the twister approached.
“It got very windy and when I looked in my mirror it was almost black and debris started flying,” St. Pierre said. “Then I told the car hop to go inside and get down. Then it just pulled off the roof of the building next to us. I told my kids, ‘Put y’all heads down, it’s a tornado!’ Debris kept flying and you could see the rotation.”
Although the Earth Day tornado caused property damage there were no reports of injuries, said Chris Boudreaux, emergency preparedness director for Lafourche.
“They got a couple of houses with damaged roofs, some of them torn off,” Boudreaux said. “They had some trailers that were knocked off their blocks. We haven’t done a full assessment of the damage yet, but the fire department did an assessment check for injuries.”
Meteorologists were assessing the strength of the twister, Zeigler said.
Although the main attraction of Moore’s vacation was the Grand Isle Migratory Bird Festival, it was the journey back that he and his family said they would not soon forget.
“It was the most intense cross wind in the middle of the road,” Moore said. “I can’t imagine how it would have been if I were pulling a trailer or boat. We’ve been through hurricanes before, but this definitely had my attention.”
-- Daily Comet Staff Writer Dan Copp can be reached at 857-2202 or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter@DanVCopp.
Posted on Tue, April 24, 2018
by By Dan Copp Daily Comet Staff Writer