May 28, 2024 - News

Texas storm among deadly outbreak over holiday

Illustration of a tornado inside of a red siren.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

There were no working weather sirens in Valley View — a tiny town north of Denton — on Saturday night when an EF-2 tornado touched down.

Why it matters: Seven people, including two children, are confirmed dead from the storm.

  • Cooke County was put under a tornado warning less than 25 minutes before the twister crossed into the area, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Though people got alerts on their phones, no sirens sounded in the town.

Zoom in: At least 100 people were injured in Cooke and Denton counties in the weekend's storms. More than 200 homes and buildings were destroyed.

Threat level: This year is now the second-busiest tornado season to date, behind only 2011, with 989 tornado reports through May 26. The data is preliminary, as multiple reports of the same tornado may have been recorded.

  • In Texas, 106 counties are under a disaster proclamation first issued after severe storms and flooding that started April 26.
  • Collin, Cooke, Denton and Montague counties were added over the weekend.

What they're saying: "The hopes and dreams of Texas families and small businesses have literally been crushed by storm after storm," Gov. Greg Abbott said during a briefing about the tornado damage.

The big picture: At least 23 people across the country were killed over Memorial Day weekend in the tornado outbreak.

  • Eight people died in storms in Arkansas, and five storm-related deaths were confirmed in Kentucky. Oklahoma officials confirmed two fatalities from the severe weather.

Context: Sunday was the busiest severe weather day of this active season so far, according to reporting by the Storm Prediction Center.

  • Widespread damage was reported across Kentucky, Ohio and the Tennessee Valley from Sunday's storms, which were caused by the same weather system that sparked Saturday's deadly tornadoes.

The bottom line: Climate change affects the conditions in which thunderstorms form and may be leading to larger outbreaks.

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