At least 5 dead in Texas after severe weather sweeps across Texas and Oklahoma, authorities say (2024)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Powerful storms across Texas and Oklahoma obliterated homes and struck a highway travel center where drivers had rushed to take shelter, leaving thousands of people without power and a wide trail of damage Sunday. A sheriff said at least five people were dead in one rural community in Texas and many more were injured.

The destructive storms began Saturday night and included a tornado that overturned heavy recreational vehicles and shut down an interstate near Dallas. Officials said multiple people were transported to hospitals by ambulance and helicopter in the Texas county of Denton but did not immediately know the full extent of injuries.

In neighboring Cooke County, Sheriff Ray Sappington told The Associated Press that the five dead included three family members who were found in one home near Valley View, a rural community near the border with Oklahoma.

“We do have five confirmed (dead), but sadly, we think that that number is probably going to go up,” Sappington said. ”There’s nothing left of this house. It’s just a trail of debris left. The devastation is pretty severe.”


In a north Texas county, dazed residents sift through homes mangled by a tornado

At least 15 dead after severe weather carves path of ruin across multiple states in the South

Forecasters had issued tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings for parts of both states, as some heat records were broken during the day in South Texas and residents received triple-digit temperature warnings over the long holiday weekend.

In Arkansas, damaged buildings, uprooted trees and downed power lines were reported across the northwest edge of the state. Tens of thousands of homes and businesses reported power outages. Benton County Judge Barry Moehring confirmed one death.

The destruction continued a grim month of deadly severe weather in the U.S.

Tornadoes in Iowa this week left at least five people dead and dozens injured. The deadly twisters have spawned during a historically bad season in the country for tornadoes, at a time when climate change is heightening the severity of storms around the world. April had the second-highest number of tornadoes on record in the country.

Late Saturday, a tornado crossed into northern Denton County in Texas and overturned tractor-trailer trucks, stopping traffic on Interstate 35, Denton County Community Relations Director Dawn Cobb said in a statement.

The tornado was confirmed near Valley View, moving east at 40 mph (64 kph), prompting the National Weather Service to issue a tornado warning for northern Denton County, Cobb said.

The storm damaged homes, overturned motorhomes and knocked down power lines and trees throughout the area including points in Sanger, Pilot Point, Ray Roberts Lake and Isle du Bois State Park, Cobb said.

People who suffered injuries in the storm were transported to area hospitals by ground and air ambulances, but the number of injuries in the county was not immediately known, Cobb said, while a shelter was opened in Sanger.

The fire department in the city of Denton, about 37 miles (59.5 kilometers) north of Forth Worth, Texas, posted on X that emergency personnel were responding to a marina “for multiple victims, some reported trapped.”

The Claremore, Oklahoma, police announced on social media that the city about 28 miles (45 kilometers) east of Tulsa was “shut down” as a result of storm damage including downed power lines and trees and inaccessible roads.

Earlier Saturday night, the National Weather Service’s office in Norman, Oklahoma, said via the social platform X that the warning was for northern Noble and far southern Kay counties, an area located to the north of Oklahoma City. “If you are in the path of this storm take cover now!” it said.

A following post at 10:05 p.m. said storms had exited the area but warned of a storm moving across north Texas that could affect portions of south central Oklahoma.

At 10:24 p.m., the weather service office in Fort Worth posted a message warning residents in Era and Valley View they were in the direct path of a possible tornado and to immediately seek shelter. The Forth Worth office continued to post notices and shelter warnings tracking the movement of the storm through midnight and separately issued a severe thunderstorm warning with “golf ball sized hail” possible.

The weather service office in Tulsa, Oklahoma, warned on X of a dangerous storm moving across the northeast part of the state through 2 a.m. and issued severe thunderstorm notices for communities including Hugo, Boswell, Fort Towson, Grainola, Foraker and Herd.

Excessive heat, especially for May, was the danger in South Texas, where the heat index was forecast to approach 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius) in some spots during the weekend. Actual temperatures will be lower, although still in triple-digit territory, but the humidity will make it feel that much hotter.

The region is on the north end of a heat dome stretching from Mexico to South America, National Weather Service meteorologist Zack Taylor said.

Sunday looks like the hottest day with record highs for late May forecast for Austin, Brownsville, Dallas and San Antonio, Taylor said.

Brownsville and Harlingen near the Texas-Mexico border already set new records Saturday for the May 25 calendar date — 99 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius) and 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius), respectively — according to the weather service.

April and May have been a busy month for tornadoes, especially in the Midwest. Iowa was hit hard last week, when a deadly twister devastated Greenfield. And other storms brought flooding and wind damage elsewhere in the state.

The storm system causing the severe weather was expected to move east as the Memorial Day weekend continues, bringing rain that could delay the Indianapolis 500 auto race Sunday in Indiana and more severe storms in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Kentucky.

The risk of severe weather moves into North Carolina and Virginia on Monday, forecasters said.

At least 5 dead in Texas after severe weather sweeps across Texas and Oklahoma, authorities say (2024)


At least 5 dead in Texas after severe weather sweeps across Texas and Oklahoma, authorities say? ›

Extreme weather conditions include droughts, blizzards, thunderstorms, hail, tornadoes and hurricanes (along the coast).

What severe weather does Texas have? ›

Extreme weather conditions include droughts, blizzards, thunderstorms, hail, tornadoes and hurricanes (along the coast).

What is the tornado protocol in Texas? ›

Safe places include a storm cellar, a basem*nt, or an inside room without windows on the lowest floor (such as a bathroom, closet, or center hallway). If you live in a mobile home, identify a nearby building you can get to quickly. Don't stay in a mobile home during a tornado. Create a tornado emergency plan.

How many tornadoes in 2024? ›

The Greenfield, Iowa, tornado killed five on May 21, making it the deadliest tornado of the year, thus far. An EF-4 twister on May 6 destroyed much of Barnsdall and Bartlesville in Oklahoma and killed one person. The NWS received more than 6,100 severe weather reports, including 475 tornadoes.

Did a tornado hit Claremore, OK? ›

On May 25, a tornado caused widespread damage in Claremore late Saturday night into Sunday. First responders were working fully assess the damage, which includes downed trees, power lines and damage to homes and buildings. Damage assessments are continuing in multiple counties across Oklahoma.

What was the worst storm in Texas? ›

United States. The Great Galveston hurricane made landfall on September 8, 1900, near Galveston, Texas. It had estimated winds of 140 mph (225 km/h) at landfall, making the cyclone a Category 4 storm on the modern day Saffir–Simpson scale.

Is Texas in danger of climate change? ›

Texas is expected to experience a wide range of environmental impacts from climate change in the United States, including rising sea levels, more frequent extreme weather events, and increasing pressure on water resources. Texas was ranked second by GDP across the U.S.

What city in Texas has the most tornadoes? ›

While Houston has had the most tornadoes of any major city in Texas, they're not necessarily the strongest. This is because a large percentage of Houston's tornadoes have been the result of tropical systems, which can produce a large number of weak tornadoes in a short period.

Where to live in Texas to avoid tornadoes? ›

What part of Texas has no tornadoes? While no part of Texas is immune from tornadoes, areas of far West Texas, El Paso, and Central Texas see the lowest occurrence of tornadoes in the state.

How do you survive a Level 5 tornado? ›

During a Tornado

Safest place to be is an underground shelter, basem*nt or safe room. Cover your head with your arms, a mattress, or heavy blanket. If no underground shelter is available, a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building is the safest alternative.

Where is Tornado Alley shifting to? ›

The fine print: The largest increase in tornado frequency are in southern Mississippi, middle Tennessee and southwestern Kentucky, while the largest decreases took place in northern Texas and southern Oklahoma.

What is the longest lasting tornado ever recorded? ›

The so-called Tri-State Tornado traveled an exact heading N 69° E for 183 of its 219 mile track. It was on the ground for 3 ½ hours and killed an estimated 695 people. Its average forward (not rotational) speed was 27.7 m/s (62 mph) with a maximum speed of 32.6 m/s (73 mph).

What was the worst tornado in Oklahoma history? ›

The most deadly tornado to ever strike within the borders of the state of Oklahoma occurred on Wednesday, April 9, 1947 in the city of Woodward.

Is Oklahoma a tornado alley? ›

Oklahoma sits within the heart of Tornado Alley, one of the world's most tornado-prone areas, and averages more than 50 tornadoes every year. Tornadoes are most common in Oklahoma during Spring, from March to May, but can happen anytime, anywhere.

Has a tornado ever hit Norman Oklahoma? ›

April 13, 2012: A 600 yards (550 m) wide EF1 tornado, during the tornado outbreak of April 13–16, 2012, impacted downtown Norman, injuring 20 people, causing minor damage to buildings and damage to numerous trees and power lines.

What kind of natural disasters happen in Texas? ›

Texas is ranked first in the U.S. in the variety and frequency of natural disasters. Flooding, wildfires, tornados, hurricanes, hail storms, sinkholes, erosion and drought all occur in the state. Sometimes, even utilization of the state's natural reserves of oil, gas, and water can lead to subsidence and earthquakes.

Is Texas unbearably hot? ›

Precisely, how hot is it in Texas in the summertime? That depends on where you go. However, 2023 marked the hottest summer in over a decade and one of the most blistering on record, with nearly all locations reporting higher-than-average heat and humidity readings: The average summer temperature in Texas was 85.3°F.

What is the most common weather emergency in Texas? ›

Floods. Flooding is the most common disaster in Texas. Be prepared, evacuate early, and avoid flooded roads.

Does Texas get snow? ›

The short answer is yes, but not consistently across the state. So, the better question to ask is, “Where does it snow in Texas?” Unsurprisingly, the northern and western regions are more likely to see snowfall and freezing rain, especially in more elevated areas.

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