Strong storms leave 700,000 power outages in southern and Ohio Valley as possible tornado hits Indiana


More than 700,000 people in the Southeast and Ohio Valley are in the dark Sunday night as powerful storms battered the US, unleashing strong winds, hail and tornado threats.

Storms affected parts of Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and parts of the Ohio Valley late Sunday and will continue to threaten the area overnight, the Storm Prediction Center said. said.

In the town of Bargersville, about 18 miles south of Indianapolis, authorities described a trail of destruction left behind by a possible tornado.

There were “at least 75 homes with moderate to severe damage” from the possible tornado, said Bargersville Community Fire Department Chief Eric Funkhouser, adding that the storm also “destroyed” an apartment complex that was under construction.

There were no serious injuries, the chief said, but the storm left “about three miles” of damage.

National Weather Service meteorologist Joseph Nield told CNN that the images they saw of the possible twister led them to be “virtually certain” the storm was a tornado. But, Nield added, a survey team will make a final decision on Monday.

Videos posted on social media showed a cloud of twisters uprooting buildings and hurling debris. Surveillance footage showed several houses with their roofs ripped off and uprooted trees scattered in the debris nearby.

Bargersville officials told area residents to prepare for power outages the next 48 hours.

The aftermath of a storm in Johnson County, Indiana on June 25.

Storms moving along the Ohio River into northern Kentucky and southern Indiana Sunday evening also led to reports of severe hail, the Storm Prediction Center said.

More than 6 million people were at increased risk of severe weather Sunday night, including in Nashville, Tenn.; Louisville, Kentucky; and Pine Bluff, Arkansas. More than 18 million were at mild risk in areas including Memphis; Cincinnati; Birmingham and Columbus, Ga., acc prediction center.

The storms came as more than 50 million people from Arizona to Louisiana faced “oppressive” heat on Sunday in a significant heat wave that is expected to spread and continue into the early part of the week. 4th of July holiday and could break several high temperature records around the world. region.

The heat alerts include much of Texas as well as parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee, according to the National Weather Service.

“The oppressive heat wave across the central-southcentral US shows no signs of abating,” the Weather Forecast Center said. said Sunday afternoon. “Widespread heat advisories are in effect for southern Arizona and New Mexico and most of Texas as temperatures climb back into the 100s.”

Dangerously high temperatures are forecast to extend into the Central Plains and Middle and Lower Mississippi Valley by midweek.

The lingering heat will become “increasingly dangerous and potentially deadly” for those in south and south-central Texas, the weather service said. warned, as “many locations in those parts of Texas have already seen a record annual number of hours of dangerously high heat index readings.”

Extreme heat is especially affecting Texas and contributed to two deaths Friday in remote Big Bend National Park.

A father and his two stepsons were hiking the Marufo Vega Trail in extreme heat — with temperatures hitting 119 degrees — on Friday when the 14-year-old stepson became ill and passed out, the National Park Service said in a press release.

The father, 31, went to their vehicle to find help while the other stepson, 21, tried to carry his brother to the end of the trail, the service said.

Emergency personnel later reached the 14-year-old, who died during the process, the service said. The father’s car was found crashed over an embankment and he was pronounced dead at the scene, the service said. No other details were given about the 21-year-old.

The heat also raised concerns about the capacity of the state power authorityThe Electric Reliability Council of Texas, known as ERCOT.

ERCOT said a “Weather Watch” will be in place until June 30, according to a Facebook post.

In Austin, the state capital, several parks and recreation centers that serve as cooling centers are extending their normal hours of operation to 8 p.m. CT, the city’s website said. All but three public libraries are also extending their hours until 8 p.m., the city added.

Travis County Community Centers also serve as cooling centers on Sunday during normal business hours, the city said. Those without transportation to one of the cooling centers can take a free ride on a city bus, Austin Emergency Medical Services’ public information officer told CNN in an email Sunday.

The city’s community health paramedic program “visited and checked in with … homeless neighbors, especially those who are particularly isolated” and “distributed cases of water for both people and pets,” a the spokesperson told CNN.

Houston opened two “multi-service centers” and a community center on Sunday as cooling locations for residents without adequate air conditioning.

The YMCA and dozens of Houston public libraries can also be used as cooling centers The Houston Health Department said in a statement.

“People may seek air conditioning in the city’s multi-service centers, libraries and recreation centers during normal business hours, even when the Public Health Heat Emergency Plan is not activated,” the department said.

The city will provide free transportation to and from the various cooling centers.

A statement posted on social media by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced that an American Red Cross emergency shelter was opened Saturday afternoon near Houston to help those still without power from the storms in the beginning of the week.

In addition, Corpus Christi made six public libraries available to residents as weekend cooling centers, the city announced in a news release Friday. The city said residents will be able to get free public transportation to the cooling centers.

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