Weather alerts for millions of Americans after tornadoes kill 21


More than 120 million Americans woke to severe weather warnings on Monday, after huge storms killed at least 21 people and left a path of destruction across central US.

Tornadoes and devastating thunderstorms left nearly 600,000 residents in 13 states without power, obliterated homes and injured hundreds.

Forecasters said the greatest weather risk will now shift east, covering a broad sweep of the country, from Alabama to New York.

More thunderstorms, damaging wind gusts, hail and flash flooding are expected.

Heavy rain is expected to batter parts of the east coast, with more thunderstorms emerging Monday afternoon in the northeast and mid-Atlantic. Washington, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania are at all risk of tornadoes.

Searing heat will also continued in parts of the US south.

Sunday was the busiest severe weather day in the US so far this year, with more than 600 reports of storm damage across 20 states. Twisters and heavy winds reduced buildings to piles of rubble, flipped cars and brought down power lines.

Lightning, thunder and heavy rain meanwhile forced the evacuation of around 125,000 spectators as Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 race was delayed by four hours.

Weather deaths were reported in four states, including eight in Arkansas, seven in Texas, two in Oklahoma and four in Kentucky.

On Monday, Kentucky Governor Andy Bashear declared a state of emergency after storms pummelled much of the state.

“Last night many families and communities were not safe,” he said. “We had devastating storms that hit almost the entire state.”

Confirming four people had died, Governor Bashear said a fifth was “fighting for their life”.

In Colorado, a farmer and 34 of his cows were killed in a lightning strike.

In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott said more than a third of counties were subject to a disaster declaration after extreme weather ploughed through the state.

All of the state’s seven deaths were reported in Valley View in Cooke County, Texas near the Oklahoma border after a tornado hit a rural area near a mobile home park.

Two children, aged two and five, and three members of the same family were among those found dead.

Footage from the area showed a filling station and rest stop almost completely destroyed, with twisted metal littered over damaged vehicles.

The latest twisters follow another powerful tornado which tore through a rural Iowa town and killed four people earlier in May.

Government forecasters have also described this summer as a possibly “extraordinary” 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, beginning next month.

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