Severe storm threats continue after weekend of widespread destruction left at least 22 dead

Storms hit four states over the weekend, and now forecasters expect East Coast states to see similar weather.
Texas storm damage
Posted at 6:18 PM, May 27, 2024

Powerful storms tore through central and southern states over the weekend, killing at least 22 people and leaving thousands more dealing with destruction.

The deadly storms hit Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kentucky and Valley View, Texas, where as many as 50 people huddled in a gas station bathroom while the rest of the truck stop was completely mangled, with trucks flipped upside down still strewn about.

On Monday, people lined up to drop off donations to help those in need.

“One of our big needs is going to be financial donations that will go 100% to the victims,” Valley View Mayor Janson Bewley said.

A tornado badly damaged a KOA campground in Claremore, Oklahoma, where Matt and Ana Connors were staying on their way home to Pennsylvania.

"Next thing I knew, it was there. We couldn't do nothing," Ana Connors said.

"We thought it was going to pass us by. It was a direct hit," Matt Connors said.

Kentucky's governor declared a state of emergency and confirmed at least four people died in storms there. Meanwhile, Texas saw at least seven deaths, eight across Arkansas and two in Oklahoma.

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Some 400,000 customers were without power Monday afternoon, with 170,000 of them being in Kentucky.

The worst damage could be seen in an area north of Dallas extending to northwest Arkansas.

The storm system destroyed Justin Hurst's home in Marion County, Arkansas, and hospitalized his brother.

"We felt it hit the house and felt it sort of sucking air up through the walls and the windows, heard the roof go," Justin Hurst said.

These storms hit as record numbers of people moved through airports this holiday weekend. The Transportation Security Administration screened nearly 3 million people Friday, suggesting a busy summer travel season ahead.

And as many people might be making their way back home after the weekend travel, the storms aren't over. Forecasters say the East Coast could see the same severe weather, with tornado watches issued from North Carolina to Maryland.