Dozens dead in five states as severe weather threatens Northeast through Memorial Day

A general view of a house leaning on its side after being hit by a tornado in Temple, Texas on Thursday. Severe storms are moving East for Memorial Day, forecasters said on Monday. Photo by Adam Davis/EPA-EFE

May 27 (UPI) --

At least 23 people, including four children, were killed in the central U.S. during severe weather and tornadoes over the holiday weekend as thunderstorms and heavy rain hit the Northeast on Memorial Day.

Thunderstorms, some severe, are possible Monday night in Wilmington, northern Delaware just below Philadelphia, parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

And a tornado watch remains in effect until 11 p.m. EDT for neighboring Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and farther south in North Carolina.

At least 15 people reportedly died in Arkansas (eight) and Texas (seven) after 14 reported tornadoes hit both states in addition to two in Oklahoma on Saturday and Sunday. The dead in Texas included three family members in Texas found in one home near the small community of Valley View.

Five others were killed in Kentucky. Late Sunday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear issued a statewide emergency declaration to make sure resources are available in the aftermath.

By Monday afternoon, 473,624 in the United States were without power including 145,069 in Kentucky at one point, according to

According to the White House, President Joe Biden spoke with Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott after "devastating tornadoes across the Southern Plains."

"He expressed his condolences for the lives lost in each state," the statement said. "The Federal Emergency Management Agency is on the ground conducting damage assessments with state and local counterparts."

Sunday was the most-active severe storm day of the year, one day after tornadoes struck Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kentucky. There were at least 622 preliminary reports of severe weather from Wyoming to New Hampshire, according to Storm Prediction Center data. The previous high was 565 reports on May 8.

The same storm system also hit Mississippi and Ohio Valleys.

"After multiple days in a row of the central U.S. facing severe weather, the threat will finally shift eastward on Memorial Day," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said.

A moderate risk of severe thunderstorms will extend from north-central and northeastern North Carolina through central and eastern New York and into neighboring parts of eastern Ontario and southwestern Quebec.

"In the zone of greatest risk, there is enough spin in the atmosphere such that a few isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out," Pydynowski said. "In addition to this threat, strong winds, downpours and dangerous lightning can slow travel and impact outdoor events and gatherings."

AccuWeather originally said 110 million would likely see severe weather risk, including cities like Baltimore, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Raleigh, N.C.

Parts of major highways saw strong weather including Interstates 76, 80, 81, 87, 90, and 95.

The weather also led to flight delays on the holiday.