Devastating Tornadoes Leave 15 Dead in Central US: Homes Destroyed, Thousands Powerless

A series of powerful storms, including tornadoes, have caused widespread devastation across Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. At least 15 people, including two children, have died, and thousands are without power. Areas near Valley View, Cooke County, and Farmers Branch have been particularly affected, with numerous injuries and significant property damage reported.

PTI | Houston | Updated: 27-05-2024 04:47 IST | Created: 27-05-2024 04:47 IST
Devastating Tornadoes Leave 15 Dead in Central US: Homes Destroyed, Thousands Powerless
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At least 15 people, including two kids, have died as powerful storms ravaged the states of Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas in the central US, destroying homes and plunging thousands into darkness amid rising temperatures over the Memorial Day weekend.

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

Storms also caused damage in Oklahoma, where guests at an outdoor wedding were injured.

''It's just a trail of debris left. The devastation is pretty severe,'' Cooke County Sheriff Ray Sappington said.

The dead included two children, aged 2 and 5, and three members of a family, the sheriff said.

A tornado tore apart houses and businesses, flipped mobile homes and knocked down trees and power lines. Areas near the community of Valley View were especially hard-hit.

Sappington said 60 to 80 people were injured at a truck stop called the AP Travel Center on Interstate 35. Many had rushed there to take shelter.

Semitrailers were overturned further to the south in the neighbouring Denton County, closer to Dallas. Multiple people were taken to hospitals, some by helicopter, but the full extent of their injuries was not immediately known.

More than 4,70,000 people were without power in states stretching from Texas to Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky, according to a power outage website.

Hugo Parra, who lives in Farmers Branch, north of Dallas, said he rode out the storm with about 40 to 50 people in the bathroom of a gas station.

''A firefighter came to check on us and he said, 'You're very lucky,''' Mr Parra told the Associated Press. ''The best way to describe this is the wind tried to rip us out of the bathrooms.'' 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.

Two people died in Oklahoma, Michael Dunham, deputy director of the Mayes County Emergency Management, confirmed to Dunham said search and rescue efforts were continuing, with teams going house to house.

Widespread damage was reported in Claremore, where 23 people were injured. Nineteen of those victims were transported to local hospitals, three with life-threatening injuries. The city was closed to traffic until noon on Sunday, except for residents with identification.

At least one death has been confirmed in Kentucky, according to a statement on social media by Governor Andy Beshear.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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