The National Weather Service is confirming at least one tornado touched down in the Palmetto area early this morning.

Roger Erickson with NWS told reporters that based on damage in the area, wind speeds were at an estimated 130-140 mph which would put the early morning tornado somewhere between an EF2 and an EF3.

St. Landry Parish President Jessie Bellard says the tornado hit Palmetto near Highway 359 and Bolden Rd between 2:15 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. this morning. It has been confirmed that one person died in the storm and seven others were injured. According to updates, five of those seven have been treated while two people remain in the hospital with injuries.

KATC reports the victim that died in the storm has been identified as 28-year old Jose Higareda.

In the Bolden Rd area, at least fifteen homes were damaged, some of them being thrown over 100 yards while others were reduced to only a frame. One home reportedly had a utility light pole sitting in its living room area.

According to Bellard, first responders who have been in the area for more than 40 years say they have never seen anything like this when it comes to the devastation.

Crews are working diligently to get power restored first as Red Cross is already assisting those families who lost everything in the matter of seconds that it took the reported tornado to destroy everything in its path.

Bellard says the local government is doing everything it can to assist the affected families and warns anyone wanting to sightsee to simply avoid the area until the area can get restored to the closest version of normal in the wake of the severe weather.

There is still more damage to be assessed and we will continue to update this story with information as well as photos and videos of the damage in Palmetto.

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