Storms Kill at Least 15 in Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, Leaving Destruction Across Central U.S.

VALLEY VIEW, Texas – Severe storms battered Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, claiming the lives of at least 15 people and leaving a devastating trail of destruction. The violent weather obliterated homes, including a truck stop where dozens sought shelter in a restroom. The region hit hardest spanned from north of Dallas to the northwest corner of Arkansas, with the system threatening to bring more violent weather to the Midwest later in the day. Forecasters predicted the risk would shift eastward from Alabama to near New York City.

In Cooke County, Texas, near the Oklahoma border, seven deaths were reported, including two children aged 2 and 5. Storms also took two lives in Oklahoma, five in Arkansas, and one in Kentucky, with tens of thousands left without power in the region. Texas Governor Greg Abbott stated that about 100 people were injured, and over 200 homes and structures were destroyed in the aftermath of the storms.

The destruction in Valley View, Texas, was particularly severe, with winds reaching an estimated 135 mph. Injuries were reported, and multiple people had to be transported to hospitals by ambulance and helicopter in Denton County, north of Dallas. While no more deaths were expected in Texas, a thorough round of searches was being conducted to ensure no one was missing.

The deadly storms in Arkansas claimed at least five lives, with one woman found dead outside a destroyed home in a small community. In Oklahoma, two people lost their lives in Mayes County east of Tulsa, while in Kentucky, a man died when a tree fell on him in Louisville. The devastating weather continued an ongoing trend of deadly severe weather in the nation’s midsection, including recent tornadoes in Iowa that killed at least five people and injured dozens.

Meteorologists issued urgent warnings as the storms passed through the region, urging people to seek cover, while Harold Brooks, a senior scientist, attributed the string of tornadoes over the past two months to a persistent pattern of warm, moist air. The storms caused widespread power outages, leaving tens of thousands of homes and businesses without electricity.

Looking ahead, more severe weather was forecasted to impact Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee, with the risk of severe weather moving into North Carolina and Virginia on Monday. The Indianapolis 500 experienced delays due to severe storms, further highlighting the unpredictable nature of the weather system. As residents begin to recover and rebuild, the communities affected by the storms are left grappling with the aftermath of the destructive weather system.