New Orleans-area residents — still recovering from Hurricanes Ida, Larua, Zeta, and Katrina — are picking up the pieces after a raft of tornadoes tore through the area Tuesday night, killing at least one person. Tornadoes touched down in the Lower 9th Ward, New Orleans East, Slidell, Lacombe and Gretna, but Arabi was the most impacted, New Orleans Public Radio reported. The United Way of Southeast Louisiana pointed out that a majority of households in the areas affected do not have high enough income to build the savings required to recover from one disaster, let alone repeated disasters. Arabi resident Annete Dugan finished fixing their roof four weeks ago after it was damaged by Hurricane Ida last August.
On Tuesday night, a tornado threw a car into their house, destroying a section of their home. The exact science of tornadoes continues to evolve, and there is increasing evidence linking global warming to the type of severe weather that creates tornado conditions. Climate change is also leading to more intense hurricanes through a variety of mechanisms, making areas like southern Louisiana even more vulnerable to other forms of extreme weather, including tornadoes. “We know that we’re also on the front lines of climate change. And this is just another example of that,” New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell told reporters Wednesday.
(NOLA.com, Washington Post $, AP, ABC, NBC, Reuters, NBC, CBS, The Guardian; Dugan home: New Orleans Public Radio; Cantrell statement: Fox Weather; St. Bernard and Orleans parishes: Weather Channel; Photos: Washington Post $; Climate links: (The Conversation, Yale Climate Connections; Tornadoes at night: AP, explainer; Climate Signals background: Midwestern and Southeastern tornado outbreak December 2021, Hurricanes)