HomeDisastersTornado Outbreak Claims 15 Lives in Central U.S., Rescue Efforts Ongoing

Tornado Outbreak Claims 15 Lives in Central U.S., Rescue Efforts Ongoing

Washington: At least 15 people have lost their lives across the central United States as a series of tornadoes and extreme storms wreaked havoc in several states, including Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. Officials reported ongoing rescue efforts and widespread power outages affecting hundreds of thousands of customers after the severe weather hit the Southern Plains region starting late Saturday.

Texas Hit Hard by Deadly Tornado

In Texas, the Valley View area, north of Dallas, bore the brunt of a devastating tornado. Cooke County Sheriff Ray Sappington confirmed that seven people died in the disaster. The twister caused extensive damage, demolishing homes and a gas station, and overturning vehicles on an interstate highway. “The damage is pretty extensive,” Sappington said in an interview with The Weather Channel.

Governor Gregg Abbott has signed a decree for four counties to release funds and staff to assist those whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the tornado. Search and rescue operations in the area are still underway.

Casualties and Destruction in Oklahoma and Arkansas

In Oklahoma, a tornado that struck Mayes County late Saturday resulted in at least two fatalities, according to Johnny Janzen, the county’s head of emergency management. The storm’s impact was severe, causing significant structural damage and complicating rescue operations.

Arkansas also faced the wrath of the storm, with five confirmed deaths reported by local authorities early Sunday. The severe weather downed power lines and trees, and some regions experienced flash flooding, compounding the difficulties for emergency responders.

Severe Weather Extends to Kentucky and Indiana

The extreme weather conditions were not confined to the Southern Plains. Louisville, Kentucky, reported one death linked to the storms, Mayor Craig Greenberg announced. Additionally, the start of the Indianapolis 500 in Indiana was delayed by four hours due to storms, with fans instructed to seek shelter. The iconic car race was expected to draw a crowd of 125,000

As the storm system moved across the country, nearly 490,000 customers were left without power in states from Texas to Kansas and east to Ohio and Kentucky, according to the website PowerOutage.us. Tornado alerts remain active in several areas as the severe weather continues to pose a threat.

Ongoing Efforts and Support

Emergency services and rescue teams are working tirelessly to locate and assist those affected by the tornadoes and storms. The full extent of the damage is still being assessed, and officials are urging residents in the affected areas to remain vigilant and heed any further weather warnings.

The central U.S. frequently experiences such extreme weather events, which can cause widespread destruction and loss of life. Authorities emphasize the importance of preparedness and timely response to mitigate the impact of these natural disasters

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