BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The National Weather Service is confirming that a tornado hit the community of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, and flipped a mobile home, killing a woman and her 3-year-old daughter.
St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office Maj. Ginny Higgins says 38-year-old Francine Gotch and 3-year-old Nevaeh Alexander were inside the trailer when the storm caused it flipped over around 10:20 a.m. Sunday.
Witnesses told KLFY-TV that the father had gone to the grocery store before the storm occurred and came back to find the bodies.
The weather agency said Sunday that a tornado with peak winds of 110 mph (180 kph) traveled for nearly 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) on the ground and had a width of about 20 yards (18 meters). The agency classified the tornado as an EF1.
Louisiana’s governor is warning residents that the state should be on “high alert” for the storms and is urging people to stay off the roads.
The storm also damaged homes and buildings and knocked down power lines in Alexandria, Louisiana, which is about 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of Breaux Bridge.
The northern and central parts of the state are under a high-risk alert, which the governor says is an extremely rare classification. Those areas could get hail, flooding, high winds and possible tornadoes.