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Violent US Storms See Death Toll Rise Above 20

A series of powerful storms swept across the central and southern United States through the Memorial Day weekend. The storms led to deaths in states that included Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kentucky.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency on Monday due to the tornado activity that had been seen throughout his state. The governor was quoted as saying that “at least a few” tornadoes had touched down in his state over the Memorial Day weekend. This included one that travelled on the ground for about 40 miles. State officials stated that 100 state highways and roads were damaged by the violent storms.

The Memorial Day holiday weekend death toll included eight deaths in Arkansas, seven in the state of Texas, four in Kentucky, and another two in Oklahoma. This is accorded to data from state emergency authorities. A tornado also ripped through the Valley View area north of Dallas, Texas which led to those fatalities. Meanwhile, the two deaths in Oklahoma were the result of a tornado that hit Mayes County late on Saturday, May 26.

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This has been a historically destructive season for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. Indeed, April 2024 had the second-highest number of tornadoes on record in the United States. US states have already sustained a high human cost due to these weather events. Moreover, hundreds of thousands have faced power outages due to the weather, with Kentucky alone reporting more than 180,000 outages. The financial cost will undoubtedly be steep as officials look to repair and heal the communities touched by the storms.