Tornadoes and storms in Texas leave 760,000 people without power

Hundreds of thousands of people are left without power in Texas as strong storms hit the northeastern region of the US state.

Officials said the latest round of storms will bring hurricane-force wind gusts of up to 77 mph (123 km/h) and golf ball-sized hail.

Tuesday’s extreme weather follows several weekend storms that killed at least 24 people in five states, including Texas.

Sweltering heat is also forecast for South Texas on Tuesday, where temperatures could reach 115°F (46°C).

Some North Texans woke up Tuesday to the sound of tornado sirens, after the National Weather Service (NWS) issued warnings in Dallas and surrounding areas due to severe thunderstorms.

There were reports of flooding of residential streets, downed trees and power lines across the city, according to local newspaper the Dallas Morning News.

More than half of the 780,000 power outages reported Tuesday occurred in Dallas County, where schools canceled or delayed classes and activities for the day due to severe weather.

Hundreds of flights from Dallas were also delayed or canceled through Tuesday morning due to the storms.

The Dallas Zoo said on Twitter/X that it took a “significant hit” and would also close Tuesday while it assesses the damage.

Nearly two dozen counties in Texas remain under a severe storm watch through Tuesday afternoon.

The NWS said additional storms with “large hail and damaging winds” could continue in the region into the evening, and that “one or two tornadoes cannot be ruled out.”

He also warned of the potential for flash flooding in north and central Texas, as well as parts of southern Oklahoma.

Texas suffered a devastating weekend of storms that killed at least seven people in the state and injured more than 100.

Among those murdered were three children: a two-year-old boy and a five-year-old boy who belonged to the same family, and another nine-year-old boy.

Authorities estimate that more than 200 homes or structures were destroyed and another 120 were damaged. The area with the most damage was Cooke County, where a tornado had struck with winds up to 135 mph (217 kph).

Images from the area showed a gas station and rest stop almost completely destroyed, with twisted metal strewn over damaged vehicles.

Other storm-related deaths over the weekend were reported in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Alabama.

As North Texas is battered by storms, the southern part of the state will be hit by scorching temperatures, part of a heat wave that has engulfed the region in recent days.

The NWS said high temperatures are also expected to remain above average or near record levels across central and southern Florida over the next several days.

The latest waves of severe weather in the United States follow another powerful tornado that ripped through a rural Iowa town and killed four people in early May.

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

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