"Robust" Security Promised For N.O. East

The Louisiana National Guard will join the NOPD and the State Police in providing security to storm damaged areas of New Orleans East that were hit by a tornado during the noon hour on Tuesday.

Hundreds of buildings suffered some degree of damage while some were destroyed by a tornado that covered an area about two miles long and a half-mile wide.

The National Guard will provide surveillance via helicopter to direct officers who need assistance and to guard against any looting.

Governor John Bel Edwards joined Mayor Mitch Landrieu and other city officials at a mid-afternoon press conference.  Landrieu described the damage he saw as "catastrophic."

More than two dozen persons were injured but no one was killed and Edwards called that "a blessing."  Most of the injuries were described as minor.

Edwards declared a "state of emergency" for the entire state.  He reported that at least 6 tornadoes were suspected of causing damage in Orleans, Ascension, Livingston, St. James, St. Tammany and Tangipahoa Parishes.

Landrieu urged people to steer clear of New Orleans East as first responders continued to search through debris for possible victims.

"Please do not try to come to New Orleans East," Landrieu said. "It is totally shut down."

Some 10,000 Entergy customers lost power as the tornado moved through.

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