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At least 18 people dead after tornadoes struck in the US

At least 18 people, including four children, have died in four states after suspected tornadoes struck the central United States overnight on Sunday, May 26.

The storm also injured hundreds and caused extensive damage across Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The tornadoes destroyed homes and a truck stop where dozens sought shelter in a restroom.

The most severe damage occurred in a region spanning from north of Dallas to the northwest corner of Arkansas. The storms are also expected to bring more violent weather to other parts of the Midwest.

By Monday, May 27, forecasters said the greatest risk would shift to the east, covering a broad swath of the country from Alabama to near New York City.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency early Monday due to “multiple reports of wind damage and tornadoes.”

Seven deaths were reported in Cooke County, Texas, near the Oklahoma border. This included two children, ages 2 and 5. Three family members were found dead in one home.

The storms also killed two people and destroyed houses in Oklahoma, injured eight people in Arkansas, and one person in Kentucky.

Tens of thousands of residents were without power across the region. In Texas, about 100 people were injured, and more than 200 homes and structures were destroyed.

“The hopes and dreams of Texas families and small businesses have literally been crushed by storm after storm,” said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Hugo Parra, who lives in Farmers Branch, north of Dallas, said he rode out the storm with 40 to 50 people in the bathroom of the truck stop. The storm destroyed the roof and walls of the building, mangling metal beams and leaving battered cars in the parking lot.

Multiple people were transported to hospitals by ambulance and helicopter in Denton County, also north of Dallas.

Eight people died statewide in Arkansas, Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed. An emergency official said two of the deaths were attributed to the circumstances of the storm but not directly caused by weather.

In Oklahoma, two people died in Mayes County, east of Tulsa. In Kentucky, a man was killed in Louisville when a tree fell on him.

Meteorologists and authorities issued urgent warnings to seek cover as the storms moved across the region late Saturday and into Sunday. The National Weather Service office in Norman, Oklahoma, posted on social media: “If you are in the path of this storm, take cover now!”

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Written by Olusesan Oba

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