Memorial Day Storms Cause DEATHS, INJURIES, and WIDESPREAD Damage in Central US

Memorial Day Storms Cause DEATHS, INJURIES, and WIDESPREAD Damage in Central US

Powerful storms killed at least 21 people, injured hundreds, and wreaked havoc throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kentucky, damaging homes and a truck stop where many sought refuge in a lavatory during the latest fatal 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. On 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.”

Authorities in Kentucky said that falling trees killed at least two persons. One death was verified in Mercer County early Monday; one person was declared dead inside, and another was sent to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The second similar death was recorded in Louisville, where a man was slain on Sunday, authorities said. Louisville Mayor Craig Greenburg acknowledged on social media that it was a storm-related death.

Beshear acknowledged two more storm-related deaths in a Monday morning news conference, adding that one more person is “fighting for their life.”

“We believe at least a few tornadoes touched down, including the one we know was on the ground for at least 40 miles,” he stated. One family that lost their home in the 2021 tornadoes lost it again last night, he added.

Seven people were killed in Valley View, Cooke County, Texas, near the Oklahoma border, when a tornado ripped through a rural region near a mobile home park Saturday night, according to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at a news conference Sunday. According to the county sheriff, the deceased included two youngsters aged two and five, as well as three family members discovered dead in a single home.

Storms also killed two people and wrecked homes in Oklahoma, injuring guests at an outdoor wedding, and eight people in Arkansas.

According to, as of 11:15 a.m. EDT, around 174,000 households and businesses in Kentucky, 66,000 in West Virginia, 61,000 in Arkansas, 59,000 in Missouri, 6,000 in Texas, and 3,000 in Oklahoma were without electricity. Beshear warned Monday morning that some areas could be without power for days due to storm damage to power lines.

About 100 people were injured in Texas, and more than 200 homes and structures were destroyed, according to Abbott, who was sitting in front of a wrecked truck stop near Valley View, a small agricultural village. Officials say the area was among the hardest impacted, with winds predicted to exceed 135 mph.

“The hopes and dreams of Texas families and small businesses have literally been crushed by storm after storm,” said Abbott, whose state has had consecutive bouts of extreme weather, including storms that killed eight people in Houston earlier this month.

Abbot signed a revised severe weather disaster proclamation on Sunday, adding Denton, Montague, Cooke, and Collin to the list of counties already under a disaster designation caused by storms and flooding in late April.

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. Abbott said no additional deaths were expected, and no one had been reported missing in Texas, but authorities were doing one more round of searches just in case.

A woman in Pilot Point, near Dallas, used her key fob to signal SOS when a tornado roared through, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

According to the newspaper, the tornado flipped Amber Bryan’s RV and trapped her inside. “Thank God, I just got some bruises, nothing broken,” she said, according to the article. “Everything occurred so quickly. I just said, ‘Lord, put your arms around me and my pets and help us get through this.'”

Others told CBS Texas how they survived as a funnel ripped through an RV park at a marina.

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders revealed at a press conference Sunday evening that eight individuals had died across Arkansas. According to an emergency official, two deaths were ascribed to storm-related circumstances but were not directly caused by the storm, 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, among the dead was a 26-year-old woman whose body was discovered outside a wrecked home in Olvey, a tiny 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.

Climate Change and Record-breaking Weather

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.

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 ripped roofs off homes at Valley View, near the truck stop, and blew out windows. Clothing, insulation, plastic scraps, and other waste were wrapped around miles of barbed wire fencing that surrounded grazing areas in the rural area.

Kevin Dorantes, 20, was in nearby Carrollton when he discovered that a 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 toilet, where they weathered the storm and escaped unhurt.

Dorantes was wandering through the neighborhood of downed power lines and wrecked houses when he came across a family whose home had been turned to a pile of splintered ruins. Dorantes said a father and kid were stuck under debris, and friends and neighbors raced to help them get out.

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

In Oklahoma, inaccessible roads and downed power lines prompted officials in the town of Claremore, near Tulsa, to declare the city “shut down” on social media owing to the damage.

The system that caused the recent extreme weather was forecast to continue east during the rest of the holiday weekend. The Indianapolis 500 began four hours late due to a heavy storm that forced officials at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to evacuate around 125,000 race fans.

More severe storms were expected across Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

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

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