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Severe Weather Leaves Thousands of Americans Without Power

Severe Weather Leaves Thousands of Americans Without Power

Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms have left nearly 300,000 residents across seven states without power as of Monday night. Over the weekend, the storms claimed at least 23 lives and caused extensive damage in the central US. The National Weather Service (NWS) has indicated that the most significant weather risks have now moved eastward, affecting areas from Alabama to New York.

The forecast includes more thunderstorms, damaging wind gusts, hail, and flash flooding. Nearly 300,000 residents are without power, and there have been numerous casualties, including eight deaths in Arkansas, seven in Texas, two in Oklahoma, and five in Kentucky. An additional fatality was reported in Alabama, where a 79-year-old woman died after a tree fell on her home. Extensive property damage includes buildings reduced to rubble, cars overturned, and downed power lines.

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Heavy rain is expected into Tuesday morning across parts of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland, with a risk of severe thunderstorms from the northeast to the southeast. In Texas, severe thunderstorms are forecasted with wind gusts potentially reaching 120 km/h or greater. Record or near-record high temperatures are expected in parts of the US south.

Sunday marked the busiest severe weather day in the US this year, with over 600 storm damage reports across 20 states. The Indianapolis 500 race was delayed by four hours due to lightning, thunder, and heavy rain, forcing the evacuation of approximately 125,000 spectators.

President Joe Biden has spoken with governors of the affected states and offered federal support. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency, noting widespread impact across the state. In Colorado, a farmer and 34 cows were killed by a lightning strike, while in Texas, significant damage was reported in Valley View, Cooke County, where a tornado hit a rural area near a mobile home park, resulting in seven deaths, including two young children.

Forecasters have warned of a potentially “extraordinary” 2024 Atlantic hurricane season starting next month, suggesting that more severe weather could be on the horizon. The recent storms underscore the vulnerability of central and eastern US regions to severe weather events, highlighting the need for continued preparedness and robust emergency response mechanisms.