Almost 232,000 people in Texas are without power after a deadly tornado ravaged the Panhandle region Thursday night, according to a power outage tracker, killing four people across the Southeast just as a severe heat wave sweeps into the region.
The storm touched down in Perryton, Texas, a city of around 8,000 people, around 6 p.m., filling the local hospital with up to 100 people, the hospital told local outlets and CNN.
Flash flooding and tornado reports also hit Florida, where one person was killed Thursday when a tree fell on their home in Pensacola, the Associated Press reported, and 14,000 people remain without power in the state.
The storm also hit Louisiana and Mississippi, where 179,000 and 157,000 have lost power, respectively, this morning, with local outlets reporting that businesses were shut down Friday morning amid severe thunderstorms and hail.
Storms began picking up in the Southeast on Wednesday, toppling trees and causing building damage from Texas to Georgia. Despite several tornado reports Wednesday, there were no deaths reported until Thursday night’s storm in Perryton. Mid-June storms of this nature are rare in the Southeast at this time of the year, and has been blamed on El Niño, with its warmer sea-surface temperatures, which is expected to translate to more severe weather in the region, including twice the number of annual tornado warnings compared to La Niña years, according to the National Weather Service.
What To Watch For
Southeast states are expected to see severe thunderstorms through Friday amid a severe heat wave expected to last through the weekend.
Almost 20,000 people in Ohio are without power as of Friday morning, after a night of severe storms that left trees down and dozens of properties damaged in the state’s northeast region, according to local reports. Officials received several reports of tornadoes in Toledo and Ottawa County.
Signs Of The Coming El Niño – How Will It Affect Hurricane Season? (Forbes)
Texas Braces For Scorching Early Summer Heat Wave — Here’s Where Temperatures May Break Records (Forbes)
Multiple reports of tornadoes as rare June severe weather outbreak hits Southeast (NBC)
Severe storms damage homes, possible tornado reported in Sandusky and Ottawa counties (Fremont News Messenger)
50 million under severe storm threat today as one Texas town digs out after a deadly tornado (CNN)
Cleanup begins after tornadoes hit in Texas and Florida, killing 4 and destroying homes (AP News)
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