Hundreds of homes were damaged in one Louisiana city after a severe storm system that spawned deadly tornadoes slammed the region on Easter Sunday, the city's mayor said as drone video revealed the extent of the destruction.
Congressman Ralph Abraham, who represents the Monroe area, told "America's Newsroom" that in addition to damaged homes, many, many businesses are devastated by the storm.
"It's impressive what Mother Nature can do," he told Fox News.
Abraham added that conditions in the area are "tough" and that residents already dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic are now facing a "crisis on top of the coronavirus"
Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo said that “by the grace of God," there were only a few minor injuries in the area.
"Pray for our city!" he said.
Mayo added that many suffered "catastrophic damage" from the storms.
"We are hurting; but not broken," he said in a statement posted to Twitter. "Times like this remind us WE ARE STRONGER TOGETHER!"
Mayo told KNOE-TV the storm had damaged between 200 and 300 homes in and around the city of Monroe.
Drone video from the Monroe Fire Department showed several homes completely destroyed by the tornado, with roofs ripped completely off.
The most extensive damage was in the Byers Estates area.
Flights were canceled at Monroe Regional Airport, where airport director Ron Phillips told the News-Star the storm caused up to $30 million in damage to planes inside a hangar.
Ouachita Parish Police Jury President Shane Smiley said about 200 hotel rooms were being sought to shelter those displaced, according to the News-Star.
The storm system that created the damage in Monroe is blamed for an outbreak of tornadoes across the South that's left at least 20 dead.
Fox News Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean said Monday as a cold front sweeps across the eastern U.S., conditions will improve by Monday night, but the threat of severe weather remains for parts of Georgia, Florida, and up toward the Carolinas into Virginia.
The storm system is also bringing the threat of fierce winds to the Northeast, the epicenter of the nation's coronavirus outbreak, where the medical response has included tents that forecasters warn "could be damaged" by the gusts.
"So the next several hours are going to be critical," she said on "Fox & Friends." "These storms are going to weaken, thankfully, but we still have many hours to go."