Powerful storms kill at least 15 in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas

Powerful storms killed at least 15 people and left heavy damage Sunday across Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. The storms wiped out homes and destroyed a truck stop where drivers had sheltered during the deadly bad weather that hit the central United States.

The storms inflicted their worst damage in a region stretching from northern Dallas to northwest Arkansas, and the system threatened to bring more severe weather to other parts of the Midwest later in the day.

By Monday, weather forecasts said, the greatest risk would shift east, covering a large swath of the country from Alabama to around the city of new York.

Seven deaths were reported in Cooke County, Texas, near the Oklahoma border, where a tornado swept through a rural area near a mobile home park Saturday evening, officials said.

The dead included two children, ages two and five, Cooke County Sheriff Ray Sappington said. The storms also destroyed a nearby truck stop where at least 60 people had rushed to seek shelter. Ray Sappington said there were no serious injuries.

The storms also killed two people and destroyed homes in Oklahoma, where the injured included guests at an outdoor wedding.

Tens of thousands of residents were left without power across the region.

The Texas deaths include three members of a family, who were found in a home near the small community of Valley Viewsaid Mr. Sappington.

Authorities said several people were transported to hospitals by ambulance and helicopter in Denton County, Texas, but did not immediately know the extent of the injuries.

All that remains is a trail of debris. The devastation is quite severeSheriff Sappington told theAssociated Press.

The situation is evolving in Arkansas and Oklahoma

At least five people were reported killed in Arkansas, including a 26-year-old woman who was found dead outside a destroyed home in Olvey, a small community in Boone County, according to Daniel Bolen of the county’s emergency management office.

Another person died in the same Arkansas county. County communications director Melody Kwok said several other people were injured and emergency responders were still responding to calls.

We are still in search and rescue mode at this time. This is a rapidly evolving situation.

A quote from Melody Kwok, county communications director

Two other people died in Marion County, Arkansas.

Authorities also confirmed two deaths in Mayes County, Oklahoma. Details on the victims were not immediately available, said Mike Dunham, the county’s deputy director of emergency management.

A man was also killed Sunday in Louisville, Kentucky, when a tree fell on him, police said. Louisville Mayor Craig Greenburg confirmed it was a storm-related death on social media.

The damage is the continuation of a month of deadly bad weather in the central United States.

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Citizens look at the damage after a tornado struck Greenfield, Iowa, on May 23, 2024.

Photo: AP / Charlie Neibergall

Tornadoes that hit Iowa this week left at least five people dead and dozens injured.

These deadly tornadoes appeared during a historically bad season for tornadoes at a time when climate change is contributing to the severity of storms around the world.

Officials reported the second highest number of tornadoes ever recorded in the United States in April.

The extent of the damage observed

In Texas, a tornado crossed Denton County, north of Dallas, overturning tractor-trailers and halting traffic on Highway 35, according to spokeswoman Dawn Cobb. A shelter was opened in the rural municipality of Sanger.

Aerial images showed dozens of damaged homes, many without roofs and others reduced to rubble.

Residents woke up to overturned cars and collapsed garages. Some residents could be seen pacing and sorting through pieces of wood, assessing the damage. Nearby, neighbors sat on the foundation of a destroyed house.

The Denton Fire Department posted on social media that emergency crews near Dallas were responding to a marina due to several victims, some trapped.

Severe damage and power outages

At the height of the storms, more than 24,000 homes and businesses lost power in Oklahoma, according to the state’s office of emergency management. The office also reported severe damage from baseball-sized hailstones and numerous injuries at an outdoor wedding in rural Woods County.

Meteorologists and authorities issued emergency alerts for citizens to take shelter as storms moved through the region overnight.

If you are in the path of this storm, run to shelter now! published the office of National Weather Service to Norman on the social network

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In Valley View, Texas, severe weather left destruction in its wake.

Photo: AP / Julio Cortez

Inaccessible roads and downed power lines in Oklahoma also led officials in the town of Claremore, near Tulsa, to announce on social media that the town was closed due to the damage.

April and May were busy months for tornadoes, particularly in the Midwest American. Iowa was hit hard last week when a deadly tornado devastated Greenfield. Other storms caused flooding and wind damage elsewhere in the state.

The weather system causing the latest severe weather was expected to move eastward through the rest of the weekend. The risk of severe weather shifts to North Carolina and Virginia on Monday, weather forecasters said.

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