Death toll rises to 20 after storms hit southern U.S. states


SAN FRANCISCO, May 27 (Xinhua) -- At least 20 people have been killed after storms hit the U.S. states of Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kentucky over the Memorial Day weekend.

In Texas, the storm destroyed a roadside travel stop and a community of mobile homes in Cooke County. Texas Governor Greg Abbot said at a press briefing on Sunday that seven people were killed and more than 100 others injured.

Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed at a press conference at the Benton County Sheriff's Office Sunday night that eight people have died in the storms

In Kentucky, Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg confirmed one death following Saturday night's storms. Another person was killed in Mercer County, Kentucky, according to Mercer County Emergency Management Director Brad Cox. The third death was confirmed by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear. He declared emergency zones in five Kentucky counties.

In northeastern Oklahoma, two people were killed and others were injured after a tornado hit Mayes County, according to emergency management officials.

This is the deadliest tornado in Texas state history since 2015. The National Weather Service gave it a preliminary rating of EF-2 with 135 mph winds. Texas Governor Greg Abbot issued disaster emergencies across four counties.

Nearly 400,000 people in Missouri, Arkansas and Kentucky have no power after severe storms and tornadoes swept through the region, according to poweroutage.us.

Forecasters reported Monday that the storms could shift east and impact the states such as New York and Alabama.

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