Tulane shuts down campuses for thunderstorm, tornado watch

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Tulane shuts down campuses for thunderstorm, tornado watch

Tulane student instagrams a picture of tornadoes touching down on Lake Ponchatrain 

Tulane student instagrams a picture of tornadoes touching down on Lake Ponchatrain 

Tulane student instagrams a picture of tornadoes touching down on Lake Ponchatrain 

Tulane student instagrams a picture of tornadoes touching down on Lake Ponchatrain 

Emily Carmichael, Print News Editor

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Tulane University shut down its campuses Tuesday in New Orleans, St. Tammany Parish and Mississippi in anticipation of severe thunderstorms, according to a university-wide emergency notification.

The National Weather Service put Orleans Parish under a Tornado Watch until 10 p.m. and a wind advisory until 6 a.m the following day, expecting winds between 20 and 40 miles per hour. At 5:41 p.m., an email from Tulane Emergency Notification said a new tornado warning, called a “Particularly Dangerous Situation Tornado Watch,” had been issued. A rarity for the Tulane area, the new watch means that the potential exists for strong tornadoes to develop.

“A very potent system will push through the region today and tonight,” the National Weather Service said in an alert. “The Location with the greatest risk for severe weather will be along the and north of the I-10 corridor [which includes New Orleans]. The ingredients will be in place for all modes of severe weather including tornadoes and a few [of which] maybe strong. Damaging wind gusts in excess of 80 mph are possible as well.”

The university cancelled all classes after noon. Bruff Dining Commons, the Lavin-Bernick Center, McAlister Market and Le Gourmet closed at 3 p.m. Hillel Kitchen remained open until 9 p.m.

Tulane asked nonessential personnel to leave campus at noon and urged students to stay indoors. It expects to resume normal operations tomorrow.

Tornadoes touched down near the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and on Lake Pontchartrain. Two people have been killed in Louisiana and one in Mississippi, and at least 30 injured due to the storm according to CNN article. Entergy New Orleans reports that 2,582 Orleans Parish residents lost power in the storm.