Tornado survivor cowered in a bathtub: 'I just started praying'

A New Orleans woman who survived a tornado has told the tale of how hiding in her bathtub and praying to God saved her life. 

A state of emergency was declared in the state of Louisiana after more than five tornadoes swept through Louisiana, New Orleans on Tuesday morning (local time).

Linda Pierre said she received notifications on her phone telling her a tornado was due to hit her area, so she ran to the safety of her bathtub. 

Mrs Pierre then phoned her husband but couldn't reach him so called her mother who talked her through what to do.  

"I told her that we were getting hit by the tornado. She told me to calm down and I just started praying because I let my faith kick in," she told ABC News. 

The woman said she prayed whilst in her bathtub that she would be protected. After waiting 10 minutes she got out of the tub to assess her house. 

"I realized we had a lot of damage to the back of the house but, structurally, the house was sound.

"I couldn't believe what I was seeing all around me," Pierre added. "But God kept me."

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said: "I am heartbroken to once again see Louisiana families suffering.

"We are working tirelessly to ensure that every citizen affected by this storm receives the resources they need as quickly as possible."

Although no deaths were reported, the strong winds destroyed homes, injured 31 people and left more than 9000 residents without power.