Deadly Memorial Day storms: Severe weather strikes US, heading east after claiming 20 lives

Deadly Storms Devastate Central and Southern U.S. Over Memorial Day Weekend

Over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, a series of powerful storms wreaked havoc across the central and southern U.S., resulting in the tragic loss of at least 22 lives. These destructive storms brought devastation to Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kentucky, coinciding with an early season heat wave breaking records from south Texas to Florida.

Forecasters Warn of Severe Weather Shift to East Coast

With the severe weather threat potentially moving to the East Coast, millions of people enjoying the holiday weekend outdoors were cautioned to remain vigilant about changing weather conditions. A tornado watch was issued spanning from North Carolina to Maryland.

Impacts Across Affected States

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency after confirming five fatalities in the state, including a man who suffered a heart attack while clearing fallen trees in Caldwell County. Meanwhile, Cooke County, Texas reported seven deaths from a tornado that struck a mobile home park, with an additional eight fatalities in Arkansas.

Communities Struggle to Recover

The aftermath of the storms left towns like Charleston, Kentucky in disarray, as residents faced destroyed homes and power outages. Many areas hit by tornadoes in 2021, such as Barnsley in Hopkins County, experienced further damage, exacerbating the rebuilding process.

Continued Support and Recovery Efforts

Governor Beshear has been actively engaging with affected communities, acknowledging the resilience of Kentucky residents who have endured multiple weather-related disasters. Federal agencies, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, have been mobilized to assess damage and provide necessary support.

Climate Change and Severe Weather Patterns

The recent spate of tornadoes and severe weather events across the U.S. highlights the impact of climate change on storm severity. With a historically turbulent tornado season, experts attribute the persistent warm, moist air patterns to the heightened frequency of tornado occurrences.

Record-Breaking Heat Wave

In addition to the storm system, a heat dome has enveloped parts of the U.S., bringing unseasonably high temperatures and extreme heat indices to regions like south Texas and Florida. Several cities set new daily record highs, underscoring the intensity of the heatwave.

For the latest tornado reports and updates, visit The Associated Press Tornado Tracker.

Read More of this Story at – 2024-05-27 23:42:00

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