Kenner crews clean up after Rivertown tornado

Kenner crews clean up after Rivertown tornado

KENNER, LA (WVUE) - Kenner work crews spent the better part of the afternoon cutting up the debris of a morning tornado that caused thousands of dollars in damage in an isolated area.

It was a big weather event, and according to the Kenner mayor, it was the fifth tornado in Kenner in five years. It saved its most powerful punch for a small portion of Kenner's Rivertown.

"We got limbs down, wharf damage, the storm hit, and disappeared," said Chris Johnson with Setcom Voice Data Networks, a high tech company located in what's left of a low-tech, historic home.

Johnson was surveying the damage after a tornado destroyed the building that hugs the levee.

"Front half of the building is completely destroyed," Johnson said.

The tornado lifted out a concrete pole and destroyed some oak trees. It also damaged a dock on the river side of the levee, caused some roof damage in Heritage Hall, and woke up residents all over the metro area.

"We heard the rain, got in the hallways until they gave us the all clear," said resident Shawna Stephenson.

The National Weather Service said the tornado may have been amplified as the storm system crossed the river.

"It stretched over the river, and then hit right on the other side of the banks," said Ken Graham with the National Weather Service.

While the cleanup continues, Johnson tried to figure out how to get his local operation back up and running.

"This can be replaced,but you can't replace life," he said.

He's hoping to rebuild at the same location, which he said had been good for his company until this morning.

A total of four buildings were damaged in Kenner.

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