(WVUE) - Confirmed tornadoes and severe weather ripped through New Orleans and the surrounding area causing major damage to home and businesses.
Hail of approximately two inches was reported in the area.
At 12:57 p.m. a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located near Independence, or 9 miles southeast of Amite, moving east at 30 mph.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu held a press conference about the tornado damage in New Orleans East.
According to initial reports, two people are said to have suffered serious injuries and about a dozen others suffered have minor injuries.
New Orleans Fire Department Chief Tim McConnell said the worst of the damage on Chef Menteur Hwy is in the 4700 block.
Crews are going door-to-door to check on people.
Entergy crews are also on scene responding to a number of gas leaks.
New Orleans Police Chief Michael Harrison says federal, state and local agencies have activated a coordinated effort with search patrols in the area.
A large tornado touched down in New Orleans east along Interstate 10 and Chef Menteur Highway.
Major damage is reported to homes and structures on Crowder Boulevard to Read Boulevard between Dwyer Road and Chef Menteur Highway in New Orleans East.
The NASA Michoud Assembly Facility took a direct hit.
Over 15,000 customers are without power in several areas of the city and surrounding area.
Delgado Community College students, faculty and staff were ordered to remain in place until the severe weather passes.
The severe weather spanned a wide swath of southeast Louisiana. There were reports of dime-sized hail in St. Charles Parish and 50 mph winds near Lakefront Airport.
Trees were reported down, trash cans and debris were scattered around the neighborhood in the area of White Street and Severn Avenue in Metairie.
Minor roof damage to some homes was also reported in that area.
Locations impacted include New Orleans, East New Orleans, Metairie, Chalmette, Avondale, Jefferson, Harahan, Westwego, Elmwood, River Ridge, Waggaman, Bridge City, Arabi, New Orleans Armstrong Airport and Lakefront Airport.