Live updates: Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky face tornadoes and severe weather (2024)

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7:47 p.m. ET, May 27, 2024

Feeling lucky to be alive, Texas man describes crouching over his wife as tornado blew through the city

From CNN’s Ed Lavandera and Ashley Killough in Valley View

Michael Gonzalez, who lives in Valley View, Texas, said he was doing some late-night work on Saturday when his wife came to alert him they needed to take shelter.

The lights started flickering and he grabbed a headlight and went down the hallway when the tornado hit, he said.

“About the time I got at the end of the hallway right before I got to her, it hit.And it blew in like crazy," Gonzalez said.

He said he knew they would not make it to the storm shelter so Gonzalez crouched over his wife in a corner “until it ended.”

In the aftermath, Gonzalez said the couple was feeling "a little bit tender — we’re a little bit beat up. It was a doozie that’s for sure."

"We both feel very lucky to be alive cause for a moment there I thought we weren’t gonna be able to hold it together," he added.

After conducting storm surveys, the National Weather Service said initial findings indicated that the tornado that struck Valley View was of at least EF2 strength. At least seven people were killed by the severe storms Saturday night, Sheriff Ray Sappington told CNN.

6:55 p.m. ET, May 27, 2024

Severe weather ripped through the central US this weekend. Here's what we know

From CNN staff

At least 23 people are dead in several states after severe weather and tornadoes struck the central United States this weekend.

The sprawling storms on Sunday created the most active severe storm day of the year.

Thunderstorms and high winds continued into Monday for a significant portion of the Northeast.

Ongoing alerts:

  • There is still a tornado watch in effect until 11 p.m. ET for more than 16 million people in Washington, DC, parts of North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland, including Baltimore, according to the Storm Prediction Center.
  • A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect until 9 p.m. ET for parts of New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the Storm Prediction Center said. That alert impacts more than 30 million people.

Here's what else to know:

  • Kentucky: Five people died in Kentucky as a result of the severe weather, according to Gov. Andy Beshear. Video showed the aftermath of a tornado in Charleston with cars tossed into the piles of debris and the remains of houses. Teams from the National Weather Service are being sent to survey the tornado damage.
  • Alabama: One person was killed by a large tree that fell onto a residential building in Mountain Brook, according to the fire department.Storms brought wind gusts up to 70 miles per hour and large hail.
  • Texas: At least seven people were killed in the town of Valley View in Cooke County when severe storms struck Saturday night, Sheriff Ray Sappington said. Of those, a woman and two of her children were killed when a tornado struck their home. Laura Esparza and her children Marco, 10, and Miranda, 16, died after their trailer was thrown across a street, Esparza’s brother-in-law told CNN.
  • Oklahoma: Two people died and several others were injured in the storms, according to officials. Survey teams from the National Weather Service found severe damage in Claremore, northeastern Oklahoma, indicatingthe tornadowas at least a category EF3. Three horses had to be euthanized at Will Rogers Down, which was in the direct path of that tornado, according to Joe Lucas, a spokesperson for the state's Thoroughbred Racing Association.
  • Arkansas: At least eight people were killed in severe weather that left large amounts of debris in parts of the state's northwest, according to officials. It left houses with missing roofs and a lot of downed trees, according to Lori Arnold-Ellis, a spokesperson for the American Red Cross of Greater Arkansas.
  • An active weather weekend: Sunday was the most active severe storm day of the year. There were at least 622 preliminary reports of severe weather spanning from Wyoming to New Hampshire, according to Storm Prediction Center data. The previous high was 565 reports on May 8. Among Sunday's storm reports were 14 tornadoes, including multiple tornado emergencies in Kentucky.
  • Heat warning:Meanwhile, more than 25 million people are under heat alerts, mainly across east and south Texas and central and southern Louisiana and Mississippi. Over the next two days, the heat index values couldtop 119 degreesin Laredo, Texas, and 113 degrees in Austin, and Houston.
6:03 p.m. ET, May 27, 2024

5 people have now died due to Kentucky storms, governor says

From CNN’s Amy Simonson

A fifth person has died in Kentucky as a result of severe weather that ripped through the state Sunday night, the governor said.

“I’m sad to share we have another reported death as a result of yesterday’s storms,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said in asocial media statement Monday.
According to the statement, a 54-year-old man died in Caldwell County from a heart attack while cutting fallen trees.
“His loved ones are in our prayers during this difficult time,” Beshear said.

With a clean-up underway, Beshear warned people to be careful.

“So we're asking everybody that's out there all across the country cleaning up today, be careful. You are important. Your family wants you to come home tonight,” the governor said.

Beshear said that another person has suffered a “very serious injury,” but appears to be a “little bit better.” According to the governor, a tornado believed to be at least an EF-3 devastated some homes in Charleston and Barnsley leaving nothing left.

At least 23 have died across the country due to severe weather this weekend.

This post has been updated with additional comments from the governor.

4:12 p.m. ET, May 27, 2024

1 person killed after large tree falls onto residential building in Alabama, authorities say

From CNN's Raja Razek

One person is dead after a large tree fell onto a residential building in Mountain Brook, Alabama, according to the Mountain Brook Fire Department.

"Early this morning MountainBrook Fire Department responded along with assistance fromMountain Brook Police DepartmentandHomewood Fire Departmentto a large tree fallen onto a residential structure on Montevallo Road near Petticoat Lane," the fire department said Monday in aposton Facebook. "The structure sustained heavy damage resultingin one fatality. Our thoughts and prayers go outto the family, friends and neighbors."

Central Alabama was under a severe thunderstorm watch through 10 a.m. ET Monday morning, with wind gusts up to 70 miles per hour and large hail.

Mountain Brook is a suburb of Birmingham.

This latest death marks the 22ndweather-related fatality in the US since Saturday evening.

3:59 p.m. ET, May 27, 2024

Tornado watch issued for Washington, DC, and Baltimore

From CNN Meteorologist Mary Gilbert

A tornado watch was issued by the Storm Prediction Center for Washington, DC, parts of North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland, including Baltimore. The watch is in effect for more than 16 million people until 11 p.m. EDT Monday.

A couple of tornadoes are possible along with damaging wind gusts to 70 mph and hail up to the size of ping pong balls.

"Damaging winds are expected to be the most common risk, but some hail is possible and a moist environment and strong atmospheric winds will also support a tornado risk," the SPC warned Monday afternoon.

Any storms could also produce drenching rainfall.

1:56 p.m. ET, May 27, 2024

30 million people in the Northeast under severe thunderstorm watch

From CNN Meteorologist Mary Gilbert

A severe thunderstorm watch was issued for parts of New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Monday afternoon by the Storm Prediction Center. The watch is in effect for more than 30 million people until 9:00 p.m. EDT Monday.

New York City, Philadelphia and Newark, New Jersey, are just a few of the major metropolitan areas within the watch.

Damaging wind gusts up to 65 mph, hail and tornadoes are the main threats with any storms in the watch area Monday afternoon.

2:06 p.m. ET, May 27, 2024

Biden spoke with governors of states impacted by weekend storms, White House says

From CNN’s Nikki Carvajal

Live updates: Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky face tornadoes and severe weather (1)

President Joe Biden spoke with governors of states impacted by severe storms on Monday, the White House said.

Biden talked on the phone with Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott following “devastating tornadoes across the Southern Plains,” according to the White House.

“He expressed his condolences for the lives lost in each state,” the statement said. “The Federal Emergency Management Agency is on the ground conducting damage assessments with state and local counterparts.”

Biden “reiterated that he has directed his administration to provide federal support as needed,” the White House said.

Some context: CNN previously reported the sprawling severe storms pounding the eastern half of the United States on Sunday created so much hazardous weather it was the most active severe storm day of the year.

There were at least 632 preliminary reports of severe weather Sunday spanning from Wyoming to New Hampshire, according to Storm Prediction Center data. The previous high was 565 reports on May 8.

12:57 p.m. ET, May 27, 2024

When storms will arrive in the Northeast's big cities

From CNN Meteorologist Mary Gilbert

Severe thunderstorms will track through a significant portion of the Northeast's highly populous I-95 corridor this afternoon and evening with the threat of damaging wind gusts, hail and tornadoes. Some cities may encounter multiple rounds of storms.

Here's when the greatest threat for damaging storms is expected Monday in several major cities. All times are local.

Washington, DC:

  • Start time: around 2 p.m.
  • End time: around 7 p.m.


  • Start time: around 2 p.m.
  • End time: around 8 p.m.


  • Start time: around 3 p.m.
  • End time: around 8 p.m.

New York City:

  • Start time: around 3 p.m.
  • End time: around 9 p.m.
12:28 p.m. ET, May 27, 2024

Weekend's outburst of rare tornado emergencies highlight the severity of the event — and the season

From CNN Meteorologist Mary Gilbert

Five rare tornado emergencies were issued by the National Weather Service as tornadoes carved a deadly path through the US over the weekend.

Tornado emergencies are the most dire tornado warnings and are only issued when a tornado threatens catastrophic damage and loss of life, often in a populated area. Nearly 70,000 tornado warnings have been issued in the past 25 years, but just more than 300 have risen to the level of a tornado emergency, according to data from the Iowa Environmental Mesonet.

There have already been 14 tornado emergencies in the US this year, including the five since Friday, with one in Texas and four in Kentucky.

On average, about a dozen tornado emergencies occur in the US each year, but that number is skewed significantly by the devastating 2011 severe season, which had 60. Only a handful of tornado emergencies happen in many years.

Four of the weekend’s tornado emergencies occurred on Sunday in Kentucky. The emergencies accounted for a fraction of the more than 100 tornado warnings issued by the National Weather Service that day.

Sunday marked the sixth day this year with 100 or more tornado warnings, the second-most on record for a single year. Only 2011 had more with nine days.

Live updates: Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky face tornadoes and severe weather (2024)


Where did the tornadoes hit in Kentucky yesterday? ›

Kentucky tornado rips through Dawson Springs. What to know on storms, power outages, more. Kentuckians are still recovering from the severe weather experienced on Sunday, which includes two confirmed tornadoes, with other areas being surveyed. Storms killed five people, and many residents without power.

Where in Arkansas was the tornado? ›

ARKANSAS, USA — The US National Weather Service confirmed that two EF-3 tornadoes touched down in parts of northern Arkansas on the morning of May 26. The first tornado swept through Boone and Marion County, with reported winds of up to 140 mph.

What was the worst tornado outbreak in Arkansas? ›

The storms over Memorial Day weekend were the deadliest Arkansas has seen in 10 years. One man living in Marion County said his brother was pulled out of his own home during a tornado. “He went for a ride through that. His house took a direct hit and it flattened it," said Justin Hurst.

Which states have the most tornadoes and where does Oklahoma rank among them? ›

Tornados in 2021 by state

Oklahoma ranked 16th in the number of tornadoes in 2021 with 39 twisters. These states saw the most tornadoes that year: Texas: 118. Alabama: 100.

What part of Kentucky had a tornado? ›

At least two confirmed F-1 tornadoes touched down in Kentucky, according to preliminary survey results from the National Weather Service in Louisville. One tornado with 90 mph winds hit eastern Meade and northern Hardin counties. A second tornado touched down in Butler and northern Warren counties with 85 mph winds.

What county is Louisville, KY in? ›

Louisville is the historical county seat and, since 2003, the nominal seat of Jefferson County, on the Indiana border.

Did the tornado hit Bentonville, Arkansas? ›

The tornado was about 1.7 miles wide and traveled for at least 7 miles. Extensive straight-line wind damage also occurred across Benton County, into Bentonville, Rogers and the War Eagle area, according to the National Weather Service.

When was the last ef5 tornado in Arkansas? ›

25); there has been only one recorded F5 tornado in the state, on April 10, 1929. Of the 336 fatalities in the state that occurred between 1950 and 2006, 211 took place in F4 tornadoes, of which there were only forty; only two fatalities took place in F0 and F1 tornadoes combined (962 total).

Where was the worst tornado located? ›

This article lists various tornado records. The most "extreme" tornado in recorded history was the Tri-State tornado, which spread through parts of Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana on March 18, 1925.

Has there been an F6 tornado? ›

In total, two tornadoes received the rating of F6, but both were later downgraded to F5. Based on aerial photographs of the damage it caused, Fujita assigned the strongest tornado of the 1974 Super Outbreak, which affected Xenia, Ohio, a preliminary rating of F6 intensity ± 1 scale.

What state has the most tornadoes? ›

Texas leads the nation in the number of tornadoes that occur each year on average, followed by Kansas. Texas leads the nation for the average number each year only because of its size.

What is the 2 worst tornado in history? ›

On May 7 ,1840, the second deadliest tornado in the U.S. hit Natchez, Mississippi. It caused over 300 people to lose their lives.

What state has never had a tornado? ›

Tornadoes have been documented in every U.S. state (not including the non-state territories of Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico) at least once since 1950, although some regions and states are hit by tornadoes far more than others.

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 is Tornado Alley in 2024? ›

"Tornado Alley" has sprung back to life, with the majority of tornadoes erupting in central U.S. states which include: Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Tornado activity is still extremely active this month.

Did the tornado hit Rogers, Arkansas? ›

Rogers, Ark., was one of many places hit hard by the rash of storms over Memorial Day weekend across the South. Bret Schulte reported from Rogers, Ark. Melisa Swearingen woke up early on Sunday morning as a tornado bore down on her home in the northwestern corner of Arkansas.

Where did Tornado Alley hit? ›

AccuWeather says that Tornado Alley has historically consisted of northern Texas northward through Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri and parts of Louisiana, Iowa, Nebraska and eastern Colorado. However, scientists say there have been some concerning changes in recent years.

Where did a famous tornado happen? ›

On March 18, 1925, the Great Tri-State Tornado tore across Southeast Missouri, Southern Illinois, and Southwest Indiana. With its rapid movement, monstrous size, and long track, the tornado took hundreds of lives and injured thousands.

How many tornadoes in Arkansas in 2024? ›

May 30, 2024 at 12:33 p.m. | Updated May 30, 2024 at 7:54 p.m.

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