Thousands of Americans lost power due to severe weather

Holly Honderich,in Washington

Deadly tornadoes leave a trail of destruction in four US states

Nearly 200,000 people across several US states remain without power after an onslaught of deadly tornadoes and thunderstorms.

Extreme weather killed at least 23 people over the Memorial Day weekend, injured hundreds more and left a path of destruction across the United States.

Forecasters are continuing to warn of severe thunderstorms and flash flooding across north and central Texas.

Meanwhile, southern parts of the state are experiencing intense heat, as is southern Florida.

The National Weather Service (NWS) said that although this heat wave is gradually abating, it could still reach near-record highs.

In an update Tuesday morning, the NWS warned of “significant damaging winds and large hail” in Texas. The threat there, and in southern Oklahoma, lasts through Wednesday.

NWS previously said heavy rain was expected on the east coast — from New York to Maryland — and with it the risk of thunderstorms in those areas.

Kentucky is currently the state hardest hit by power outages, according to monitoring site, which said more than 80,000 homes were affected.

Hundreds reported damage

Sunday was the most severe weather day in the US so far this year, with more than 600 reports of storm damage across 20 states. Tornadoes and high winds reduced buildings to rubble, overturned cars and downed power lines.

Meanwhile, lightning, thunder and heavy rain forced about 125,000 spectators to evacuate as Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 race was postponed by four hours.

Weather-related deaths have been reported in several states over the past few days, including eight in Arkansas, seven in Texas, two in Oklahoma, five in Kentucky and another in Alabama.

President Joe Biden spoke with the governors of each state affected by the storm and offered federal assistance.

Kentucky Governor Andy Bashear declared a state of emergency citing “devastating storms that have hit nearly the entire state”.

In Colorado, a farmer and his 34 cows were killed by lightning.

A car lies in the rubble after a major storm swept through Texas

Sunday was the most severe weather day in the US this year

In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott said more than a third of counties had declared a disaster after severe weather swept through the state.

All seven of the state’s deaths were reported in Valley View in Cooke County, Texas near the Oklahoma border after a tornado struck a rural area near a mobile home park.

Two children, aged two and five, and three members of the same family were among those found dead.

Footage from the area showed a gas station and rest stop almost completely destroyed, with twisted pieces of metal scattered across damaged vehicles.

The latest tornadoes follow another strong tornado that tore through a rural town in Iowa and killed four people in early May.

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

Additional reporting by James FitzGerald

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