Monday, June 24, 2024

At least 21 people killed by US storms in 4 states over Memorial Day weekend | Global Updates

Deadly Storms Sweep Across Southern Plains and Ozark Mountains, Killing at Least 21 in the U.S.

Deadly tornado-spawning thunderstorms wreak havoc across Southern Plains and Ozark Mountains, claiming 21 lives in the U.S.

Severe storms that unleashed tornadoes in the Southern Plains and Ozark Mountains over the Memorial Day weekend have left a trail of destruction and tragedy, with at least 21 people losing their lives across four U.S. states. The powerful storms have also caused extensive damage to hundreds of buildings, as forecasters are warning of more severe weather ahead.

The death toll includes eight fatalities in Arkansas, seven in Texas, four in Kentucky, and two in Oklahoma, according to state emergency authorities. The devastation prompted Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear to declare a state of emergency, while the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm watch for certain areas in Georgia and South Carolina.

Governor Beshear described it as a “tough night for our people” following the destructive storms that hit nearly the entire state. The storms resulted in significant damage to state highways and roads, with reports of nearly 100 injuries in some areas.

Tragically, a tornado that struck North Texas near the Oklahoma border claimed the lives of at least seven people, including a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old from the same family, as Governor Greg Abbott shared during a news conference. Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders also reported eight fatalities in her state, including a victim who succumbed to a lack of oxygen during a power outage.

President Joe Biden expressed his condolences for the lives lost in the storms as he spoke with Governors Stitt, Abbott, and Sanders. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is actively involved in assessing the damage alongside state and local authorities, with Biden directing federal agencies to provide necessary support.

As hundreds of thousands of Americans remain without power due to the severe weather, efforts are underway to restore electricity, with Kentucky officials warning that the process could take days. The weather service has issued warnings for additional storms moving through the Ohio and Tennessee valleys, bringing the potential for more tornados, damaging winds, large hail, and flash floods.

These catastrophic events come amidst preparations for the upcoming 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, which forecasters have described as potentially “extraordinary.” As the nation grapples with the aftermath of these deadly storms, the focus remains on recovery efforts and ensuring the safety of all those affected.

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