19 Dead As Severe Storms Strike US Southern Plains And Ozarks On Memorial Day Weekend

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Tornado-spawning thunderstorms wreak havoc in the U.S. Southern Plains and Ozarks, claiming at least 19 lives across four states.

What Happened: The storms have caused significant destruction and fatalities over the Memorial Day weekend, Reuters reported on Monday. The death toll includes eight in Arkansas, seven in Texas, two in Kentucky, and two in Oklahoma, as reported by emergency authorities.

Kentucky governor Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency early Monday. The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm watch for parts of Georgia and South Carolina until Monday afternoon.

The two fatalities in Kentucky occurred due to fallen trees on homes in Mercer County and Louisville. “It was a tough night for our people,” Beshear stated on X.

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In Texas, at least seven people, including two children aged 2 and 5, died, and nearly 100 were injured when a tornado struck communities near the Oklahoma border, Governor Greg Abbott said on Sunday.

Late Sunday, Arkansas Governor Sarah Sanders confirmed eight deaths in the state. One resident with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease died due to lack of oxygen when the power went out.

Hundreds of thousands faced power outages on Monday, with over 180,000 outages in Kentucky alone, according to PowerOutage.US.

The Weather Service warned of additional storms moving through the Ohio and Tennessee valleys, bringing damaging winds, large hail, tornadoes, and heavy downpours capable of causing flash floods.

This severe weather follows a powerful tornado in Iowa last week that killed four people and more tornadoes in Texas.

The U.S. is also preparing for a potentially “extraordinary” 2024 Atlantic hurricane season starting June 1.

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Image via Shutterstock

This story was generated using Benzinga Neuro and edited by Pooja Rajkumari

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