Tornado Destroys Homes in Weather-Battered Western Louisiana

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) -- A tornado touched down in western Louisiana Wednesday, damaging more than a dozen homes in a part of the state still struggling to recover from repeated weather disasters, officials said.

The National Weather Service said in a preliminary report posted on Twitter that an EF-2 tornado caused "significant structural damage" to about a dozen homes when it touched down around midday. Several other homes also received minor damage. Two people were injured; one woman was hurt when a window was blown into her home and a man was cut on his leg by flying debris, the weather service said.

The tornado was part of a line of severe weather that moved from Texas across southern Louisiana and into Mississippi, bringing severe rain and lightening as it swept through the region.

A Lake Charles resident, April Pettefer, told The American-Press that she hid in the bathroom with her daughter, Abigail.

"I heard wind and noise and something hitting the window and thought this sounds like it could be serious," she told the newspaper. "We just kind of stood in the bathroom, and it really was fast. By the time we realized what was happening and got there, it was over."

A section of their home was split open and the windshields on their two cars parked outside were blown out. But no one, including the family's pets, were injured.

Wednesday's severe weather was the latest weather calamity to batter the Lake Charles region in a little over a year. Two hurricanes including the Category 4 Laura slammed the region in less than two months last fall. Then an ice storm froze pipes in February, and an intense rainstorm in May flooded houses and stranded residents.