An EF-3 tornado hit the city of Ruston and Louisiana Tech University campus early Thursday morning (local time), April 25, 2019. Two people have lost their lives in the city.
Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker confirmed the two fatalities but declined to identify them. "It's bad; real bad," Walker said. "We took a direct hit."
Much of the damage occurred along Tech Drive and Cypress Springs subdivision south of Interstate 20, but Walker said there was damage throughout the city, NewsStar reports.
Our news content partners @thenewsstar are reporting two people died in Ruston during the tornado. @MyArkLaMiss @ChelseaJonesTV @ChrisDemirdjian @jarodfloyd @ReidLybarger @BrianBriggsWX More damage pics in #Ruston pic.twitter.com/3IdhkOvxw0— Andy Pederson (@AndyMPederson) April 25, 2019
Quite a few roads are blocked off around campus. And it is very difficult to drive around campus. We ask people to stay off the roads unless necessary. We will clear roadways ASAP. Our students are providing great support and encouragement for each other. https://t.co/gHK571Guk0— Les Guice (@lkguice) April 25, 2019
While there were no students injured on the campus, a significant amount of damage occurred, LTU said.
"Power lines and trees are down in some areas on and near campus. In some areas, traveling is hazardous."
"If you do not live on campus, please do not come to campus. Essential personnel will be contacted by their supervisor about reporting to work," the University said.
All classes are canceled today, but campus food services will be open for students.
Severe thunderstorms capable of damaging winds, large hail, and a few tornadoes will be likely Thursday into Thursday night over the Deep South and northern Gulf Coast, NWS warns.
In addition, heavy rain may produce flash flooding of low lying areas. The severe weather and heavy rain threat will shift to the Mid Atlantic and Southeast U.S. on Friday.
Featured image credit: Holly Chaisson (@HollyChaisson)