A tornado killed two people in Ruston early Thursday, according to the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

The tornado caused severe damage to buildings, vehicles and power lines, forcing Louisiana Tech University to shut down on Thursday. All Lincoln Parish schools are also closed today.

The National Weather Service said the tornado appeared to cut a track over 130 miles from east Texas to near the Louisiana-Arkansas border.

A statement was issued from Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker on Facebook this morning:

“We are so appreciative of everyone’s willingness to help, but for the moment PLEASE stay off the roads. The added traffic is making it difficult for City crews and first responders to get where they need to go. We will organize a clean up effort soon, but the City’s priority is getting trees cleared off the roads and power lines secured for the safety of our residents.”

Most recently his page posted this:

“Please DO NOT touch any down wires! Consider all down wires as live wires. Tampering with a live wire could result in death. The damage in Ruston is extensive, please be patient as City crews are working diligently to clear roads and address all power outages.”

For updated information, please check back with sbmag.net or visit Mayor Ronny Walker’s Facebook page here.

You can also donate to a disaster relief fund set up through the Community Foundation of North Louisiana: cfnla.org/ruston