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Tornadoes, storms kill 15 in central US

Tornadoes, storms kill 15 in central US


6 hours ago

Holly Honderich, in Washington


North Texas mobile home park destroyed by tornado

At least 15 people have been killed in tornadoes and storms that ravaged the central United States, destroying homes and cutting power to hundreds of thousands of people.

Seven people were killed in North Texas, five in Arkansas, two in Oklahoma and one in Kentucky. Dozens more were injured and nearly 500,000 people were without power Sunday in several states.

Sheriff Ray Sappington of Cook County, Texas, said the death toll included two children, ages 2 and 5, and three members of the same family.

“All that's left is a trail of debris,” said the sheriff of the Valley View area, which was one of the hardest hit by a powerful tornado. “The devastation is pretty bad.”

Images from the county showed a gas station and rest area almost completely destroyed, with twisted metal strewn across damaged vehicles.

Tornadoes overturned trucks, closed a highway near Dallas and left tens of thousands without power across the region.

Lightning, thunder and heavy rain forced the evacuation of about 125,000 spectators, with Sunday's Indianapolis 500 race delayed by four hours.


Weather warnings at the Indy 500 as the venue has been evacuated.

It was all gone in two minutes

Frank Soltysiak, who lives in a mobile home park in North Texas, said his home was destroyed within minutes of a storm.

Mr Soltysiak was at a nearby restaurant when the owner walked by “honking, telling everyone to get out”, he told CBS News, the BBC's US partner.

He grabbed his dog Sampson and took refuge in the restaurant's walk-in refrigerator.

“It was the most secure structure you could go to. And I come out and everything is destroyed,” he said.

“In two minutes, it’s gone, everything’s gone.”

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said state emergency response units were activated to respond to the tornado.

“Please pray for these families,” he said of those whose loved ones were killed. “Their loss is unimaginable.”

Storms in Texas overlapped with record heat in parts of the state, with residents receiving triple-digit temperature warnings over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

In Oklahoma, two people were killed in Mayes County and six others injured, the local emergency management authority told the BBC.

Arkansas officials said a 26-year-old woman was found dead outside a destroyed home in Olvey, while another of the state's four deaths was reported in Benton County. The state also reported several injuries.

Police officials in the town of Rogers, Arkansas, said they rescued several people who were trapped after a tornado downed trees and power lines and damaged gas lines.

In Kentucky, Louisville Mayor Craig Greenburg confirmed on social media that a man was killed by a falling tree during a severe storm on Sunday.

Denton Fire Department

A destroyed building in Denton, Texas

Storms move east

By Sunday afternoon, the storm system had begun moving eastward, according to the National Weather Service, which warned of high winds and hail for people in its path.

According to the website, some 470,000 people were without power in states ranging from Texas to Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky.

A spokesperson for Sedgwick County in Kansas, which includes Wichita, told CBS News that emergency services were dealing with downed trees and power lines from a storm, with about 8,000 customers without electricity.

The latest tornadoes follow another powerful tornado that ripped through a rural Iowa town and killed four people earlier in May.

Government forecasters have also described this summer as a possibly “extraordinary” 2024 hurricane season in the Atlantic, which begins next month.




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