Gustav's winds cause extensive damage in Baton Rouge,LA

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Hurricane Gustav's winds were more of a factor than some had anticipated. Tangipahoa Parish officials report a tornado touched down in Ponchatoula Monday. Baton Rouge police reported Monday afternoon that 400 trees had fallen on or through houses. They also report that one of those involved a family that was trapped.

In Houma, one resident not only dealt with the wind and rain from Gustav, but the home also caught fire. There's no word on if or when firefighters were able to respond to it. Also in the Houma area, the 400-foot tower outside HTV has fallen.

In Baton Rouge, there was a report from management at Hidden Point Apartments of siding, rooftops, and fences blowing away. The complex is located next to Parkview Baptist High School. The high winds have blown off a portion of the roof at Louisiana State Police Troop C, which is located in Gray, in Terrebonne Parish. Reports from that area are that the wind is more of a factor than the rain the storm is producing.

There have been numerous reports of downed limbs and trees. The East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office says there are several roadways throughout the parish that are blocked by fallen trees, power lines, and light poles. One viewer in New Roads says a big tree fell Monday morning at a neighbor's house in New Roads around 7:00 a.m. One viewer in Geismar reported a tree being down across several power lines along Hwy. 74. Other areas are reporting many different types of structure damage. A man in Denham Springs says the wind blew the roof of his neighbor's carport into his yard.

According to Sgt. Marcus Smith with Louisiana State Police, a car driven by a 57-year-old woman from Jefferson, went into the median Monday morning and hit a tree. It happened on I-10 near mile post 170, which is in Prairieville. The woman died as a result of the crash and they suspect alcohol played a factor. Troopers are strongly urging people to stay off the roads until the threat of Hurricane Gustav has completely moved out of the area. The identity of the woman has not been released.

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