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19 Killed as Severe Weather Sweeps Central US

Memorial Day is a time for Americans to remember those who died while serving in the military. However, bad weather killed at least 19 people across the Central US on Memorial Day. Over the holiday weekend, storms, tornadoes, and strong winds caused a lot of damage from Texas to Kentucky.

Storms Bring Devastation

The bad weather started on Saturday in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Indiana, and Kentucky, with hail the size of golf balls, strong thunderstorms, and damaging winds. Nineteen people had died by Monday morning, and hundreds of thousands of homes still didn’t have power.

Fatalities and Destruction

Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed eight deaths in Arkansas. One of the people who died was a COPD patient whose oxygen concentrator stopped working because the power went out.

  • Texas: In Cooke County, seven people were killed, two of them children. “A trail of debris left” was all that Sheriff Ray Sappington could describe as the damage.
  • Oklahoma and Kentucky: Two people died in each state. A tree fell on a house in Mercer County, Kentucky, and killed one person.

Widespread Impact

Many things were damaged by the storms, including cars flipping over, homes being destroyed, and power lines falling over. More than 334,000 people had lost power by Sunday evening in Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee, among other states.

Ongoing Severe Weather

Forecasters said that the bad weather would not end. Parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi were put on watch for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes by the National Weather Service (NWS). As the storms moved east, they brought damaging winds, big hail, and the chance of tornadoes.

Tragic Stories Emerge

  • Arkansas: A COPD patient and a person who died of a heart attack were both killed and in Olvey, a 26-year-old woman was found dead outside of a destroyed home.
  • Texas: Governor Greg Abbott said that this week was “harrowing” for people in Texas. There were two kids (ages 2 and 5) and three family members found together in a house.

Emergency Response and Evacuations

A tornado in Cooke County, Texas, caused extensive damage and trapped many people at a truck stop. Emergency workers evacuated 125 people who were inside to safety outside. Several guests were hurt at an outdoor wedding in Oklahoma because of storm damage, and in Tulsa, there were reports of multiple tornadoes.

Impact on Events

Bad weather also affected big events. Four hours were added to the time of the 108th Indianapolis 500, and the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, North Carolina, was delayed. The Sueños Music Festival in Grant Park, Chicago, had to be evacuated because storms were coming.

Power Outages and Safety Warnings

Officials told people to stay away from flooded roads and downed power lines because hundreds of thousands of homes were without power. In order to stress how important safety was, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said, “We have made it through at least the first part of this event, and we want to make sure we don’t lose anyone else.”

Looking Ahead

The storms are likely to keep moving east, hitting cities like Chicago, Indianapolis, and Nashville in the Midwest and Ohio Valley. There is still a big chance of flash flooding, especially in the mid-Mississippi Valley, where millions of people are on flood alert. The East Coast has a small chance of getting bad weather. About 27 million people could be hit by tornadoes, strong thunderstorms, or large hail.


As the country mourns the deaths caused by these terrible storms, attention now turns to recovery and safety. People in the affected areas are being asked to stay alert and take the necessary safety measures as the severe weather continues to pose risks over the next few days.


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