Deadly storm strike Central U.S. leaving 18 dead

Vehicles in a body shop are seen amid debris the morning after a tornado rolled through, Sunday, May 26, 2024, in Valley View, Texas. Powerful storms left a wide trail of destruction Sunday across Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas after obliterating homes and destroying a truck stop where drivers took shelter during the latest deadly weather to strike the central U.S.  / AP
Vehicles in a body shop are seen amid debris the morning after a tornado rolled through, Sunday, May 26, 2024, in Valley View, Texas. Powerful storms left a wide trail of destruction Sunday across Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas after obliterating homes and destroying a truck stop where drivers took shelter during the latest deadly weather to strike the central U.S. / AP

VALLEY VIEW, Texas — Powerful storms in central U.S. killed at least 18, injured hundreds and wreak havoc across Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.

The storms inflicted their worst damage in a region spanning from north of Dallas to the northwest corner of Arkansas, and the system threatened to bring more violent weather to other parts of the Midwest.

By Monday, forecasters said, the greatest risk would shift to the east, covering a broad swath of the country from Alabama to near New York City.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency early Monday in a post on social media platform X, citing “multiple reports of wind damage and tornadoes.”

Seven deaths were reported in Cooke County, Texas, near the Oklahoma border, where a tornado Saturday night plowed through a rural area near a mobile home park, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said at a news conference Sunday.

The dead included two children, ages 2 and 5. Three family members were found dead in one home, according to the county sheriff.

Storms also killed two people and destroyed houses in Oklahoma, where the injured included guests at an outdoor wedding, eight people in Arkansas and one person in Kentucky. Tens of thousands of residents were without power across the region.

In Texas, about 100 people were injured and more than 200 homes and structures destroyed, Abbott said, sitting in front of a ravaged truck stop near the small agricultural community of Valley View. The area was among the hardest-hit, with winds reaching an estimated 135 mph (217 kph), officials said.

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

Abbot signed an amended severe weather disaster declaration on Sunday to include Denton, Montague, Cooke and Collin on a list of counties already under a disaster declaration sparked by storms and flooding in late April.

Multiple people were transported to hospitals by ambulance and helicopter in Denton County, also north of Dallas.

No more deaths are expected and nobody was reported missing in Texas, Abbott said, though responders were doing one more round of searches just in case.

Eight people died statewide in Arkansas, Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed in a news conference Sunday evening. An emergency official said two of the deaths were attributed to the circumstances of the storm but not directly caused by weather, including a person who suffered a heart attack and another who was deprived of oxygen due to a loss of electricity. / AP

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