Bunkie was hard hit. First reports this morning indicate more damage in Bunkie from any storm in recent Avoyelles Parish history.
In Bunkie, windows have been broken in churches. Cars have been heavily damaged.
Bunkie Mayor Mike Robertson told the Bunkie Record that the hail was so thick it was like sheets of ice falling in the town.
There were still hail stones that have not melted as of 8 a.m. in some areas of Bunkie. The damage is extensive.
The facebook page of April Ducote who lives in Bunkie shows hail the size of a goose egg. The National Weather service estimated the size of the hail stones at about 2 3/4 inches which is considered baseball size.
Bunkie has been declared under a state of emergency by the city and the parish. People are driving around town with their windows blown out of cars, said Garland Foreman of the Bunkie Record.
The national weather service issued a hail storm warning at 12:55 am this morning as the storm developed over Cheneyville and headed east over Bunkie. The NWS urged residents in Bunkie, Evergreen, Cottonport, Plaucheville and Simmesport to take cover and prepare. Most citizens, however, were asleep when the warning was issued, but were awakened by the noise once the storm hit.
At least resident on the crackville road between Evergreen and Cottonport reported some damage to her home.
In Cottonport, the NWS says golf ball size hail was reported.
In Plaucheville, the hail was not as heavy as in Bunkie, but did wake residents up as it fell sideways, in a north-south direction, hitting windows and siding. Plaucheville mayor Mona Rabalsis said everything in town was ok. "We just had hail, but no major damage." Rabalais said the hale hitting her windows woke her up, but were not strong enough to break anything.
Internet service provided by Kricket is down in many parts of Bunkie due to a tree which damaged a tower, according to service manager Steve Tillson. They are busy trying to restore communication.
More news to come.