Extreme Weather Hits Central U.S.: TORNADOES Leave 18 DEAD and Many HOMELESS


Powerful storms killed at least 18 people, injured hundreds and left a trail of devastation throughout Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas after damaging homes and a truck stop where many sought refuge in a lavatory during the latest devastating weather to hit the central United States.

The storms caused the most damage in an area stretching from north of Dallas to the northwest tip of Arkansas, and the system promised to deliver more catastrophic weather to other regions of the Midwest. By Monday, analysts predicted that the biggest risk will shift to the east, affecting a large portion of the country from Alabama to near New York City. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear issued a state of emergency early Monday on social networking platform X, claiming “multiple reports of wind damage and tornadoes.”

A tornado ripped into a rural region near a mobile home park in Cooke County, Texas, near the Oklahoma border on Saturday night, killing seven people, according to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at a news conference Sunday. The deceased included two toddlers, ages two and five. Three family members were discovered deceased in one home, according to the county sheriff.

Storms also killed two people and wrecked homes in Oklahoma, injuring attendees at an outdoor wedding, eight people in Arkansas, and one in Kentucky. Tens of thousands of people were without power throughout the region.

About 100 people were injured in Texas, and more than 200 homes and structures were damaged, according to Abbott, who was sitting in front of a wrecked truck stop outside the small agricultural village of Valley View. Officials said the area was among the hardest impacted, with winds predicted to reach 135 mph (217 kph).

“The hopes and dreams of Texas families and small businesses have been crushed by storm after storm,” said Abbott, whose state has had a series of extreme weather events, including hurricanes that killed eight people in Houston.

Hugo Parra, who lives in Farmers Branch, north of Dallas, claimed he waited out the storm with 40 to 50 other people in the truck stop’s toilet. The hurricane ripped the roof and walls off the structure, mangled metal beams, and left smashed cars in the parking lot.

“A firefighter came to check on us and he said, ‘You’re very lucky,'” Parra recalled. “The best way to describe this is the wind tried to rip us out of the bathrooms.”
Multiple persons were brought to hospitals by ambulance and helicopter in Denton County, which is located north of Dallas.

According to Abbott, no additional deaths are expected, and no one has been reported missing in Texas, but authorities are doing one more round of searches just in case.

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders revealed at a press conference Sunday evening that eight individuals had died across Arkansas. According to an emergency official, two of the deaths were caused by storm-related circumstances rather than the weather itself, including a heart attack and another who was deprived of oxygen owing to a power outage.

According to Daniel Bolen of the county’s emergency management office, one of the fatalities was a 26-year-old woman discovered dead outside a wrecked home in Olvey, a small village in Boone County. One person died in Benton County, and two more bodies were discovered in Marion County, officials said.

Officials in Mayes County, east of Tulsa, Oklahoma, reported two deaths.

A man died in Louisville, Kentucky, on Sunday after a tree fell on him, according to authorities. Louisville Mayor Craig Greenburg acknowledged on social media that it was a storm-related death.

A Deadly Series of Storms

The devastation capped a bleak month of fatal extreme weather in the country’s midsection.

Last week, tornadoes in Iowa killed at least five people and injured dozens. The devastating twisters occurred amid an unusually terrible tornado season, at a time when climate change is increasing the severity of storms around the world. April saw the second-highest number of tornadoes on record in the country. Meteorologists and authorities issued urgent warnings to seek shelter as storms moved through the region late Saturday and early Sunday. “If you are in the path of this storm, take cover now!” the National Weather Service office in Norman, Oklahoma, wrote on X.

Harold Brooks, a senior scientist at the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, blamed the recent tornado outbreak on a prolonged pattern of warm, wet air.

Homes Destroyed, Roads Blocked

Residents awoke Sunday to see upturned automobiles and collapsing garages. Some residents could be seen pacing and surveying the damage. Nearby, neighbors sat on the ruined home’s foundation.

Storms tore roofs off homes in Valley View, near the truck stop, and blew out windows. Clothing, insulation, bits of plastic, and other waste were twisted around miles of barbed wire fence that surrounded grazing areas in the rural area.

Kevin Dorantes, 20, was in nearby Carrollton when he discovered the tornado was headed for the Valley View area, where he lived with his father and brother. He summoned the two of them and urged them to seek refuge in the windowless bathroom, where they weathered the storm and lived unscathed.

Dorantes traveled through the neighborhood of downed power lines and destroyed homes until he came across a family whose home had been turned to a pile of splintered ruins. Dorantes added that a father and kid were stuck under debris, and friends and neighbors rushed to help them get out.

“They were conscious but severely injured,” Dorantes explained.

Widespread Power Outages

The extreme weather caused power outages for tens of thousands of homes and businesses.

By late Sunday, more than 80,000 Arkansas consumers were without power. In adjacent Missouri, more than 90,000 people were also without electricity. According to the tracking website poweroutage.us, Texas recorded 27,000 outages, and Oklahoma reported 3,000.

In Oklahoma, inaccessible roads and downed power lines prompted officials in Claremore, near Tulsa, to announce on social media that the city was “shut down” due to the damage.

More Severe Weather is in the Forecast

The system generating the most recent severe weather was forecast to continue east during the remainder of the holiday weekend.

The Indianapolis 500 began four hours late as a violent storm moved into the area, causing Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials to evacuate some 125,000 race fans.

More severe storms were anticipated for Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

Forecasters predict that severe weather will hit North Carolina and Virginia on Monday.


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