‘Extensive damage’ as deadly twisters hit La.

(Viewer Photo: Brittani Brase)

(Viewer Photo: Brittani Brase)

SHREVEPORT, La. - Thousands were without power in Louisiana early Friday after deadly tornadoes ripped through the region, The Shreveport Times reported on its Web site.

A 20-year-old man died when his car struck a felled tree on state Highway 170, the newspaper reported.

Shreveport Police Chief Henry Whitehorn said damage appeared to be widespread, with power lines down in several parts of the city.

Mike Berry, a forecaster with the National Weather Service, said the severe line of thunderstorms brought between 3 and 6 inches of rain in the area. Berry confirmed at least three twisters.

"We are looking at extensive damage throughout our service area," the newspaper quoted Kacee Kirschvink, a spokeswoman for utility company AEP-SWEPCO as saying.

The company reported 19,737 of its customers without power at the height of the storm, The Shreveport Times said, adding that a fresh round of storms felled more power lines and caused fresh outages later on Thursday.

The American Red Cross set up a shelter in the gym at Platt Elementary School in Haughton.

Tornado warnings forced authorities to cancel events at the Louisiana State Fairgrounds.

In Arkansas, the National Weather Service confirmed a twister at East Camden on Thursday afternoon.

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