Severe Storms on Memorial Day Claim Over 21 Lives Across States

There were at least 21 fatalities and numerous property damage and power outages caused by the intense storms that swept throughout the central and southern United States over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. 

These storms hit close to the northern edge of a brutal early-season heat wave that broke records from Florida to south Texas. Millions of people are expected to be outdoors for the holiday, but meteorologists have warned that severe weather might move to the East Coast later Monday. They have urged everyone to keep an eye on the sky. A tornado watch was put out all the way from North Carolina to Maryland.

Following the deaths of four individuals in four separate counties, Governor Andy Beshear of Kentucky proclaimed a state of emergency. 

A Saturday tornado in Cooke County, Texas, killed seven people after ripping through a mobile home park; eight more died in tornadoes throughout Arkansas, bringing the total death toll to twenty-one. 

Authorities reported two fatalities in Mayes County, Oklahoma, located east of Tulsa. The little Kentucky hamlet of Charleston was the most recent community to be left without electricity and with damaged houses. A tornado that seemed to be on the ground for forty miles (64 kilometers) struck the town directly on Sunday night.

Approximately 125,000 people in Kentucky were among the over 400,000 people in the eastern United States without electricity on Monday afternoon. According to, twelve states reported at least 10,000 outages earlier today. 

A large portion of the eastern United States, spanning from Alabama to New York, is on high alert for severe weather on Monday. 

The president has spoken out to governors to inquire about potential government assistance and has his condolences to the families of those deceased. Meanwhile, the government Emergency Management Agency is now performing damage assessments on the ground.

The middle of the country has had a rough month with tornadoes and extreme weather. 

Storms earlier this month killed eight people in Houston, while tornadoes last week in Iowa killed at least five and wounded others. 

Severe thunderstorms and fatal twisters have emerged during a record-poor tornado season as storms become more intense, purportedly due to climate change.