Washington: Dozens of people have lost their lives in the United States due to storms that struck southern and central states over the Christmas holiday.
Over the weekend, relentless storms unleashed floods and tornadoes that killed at least 41 people in the affected areas and flattened buildings and snarled transportation for millions during a busy travel time.
At least 11 people were killed in the Dallas area and eight lost their lives in the city of Garland as tornadoes blew vehicles off highways.
“A tornado of that strength is very rare in a metropolitan area,” National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Bishop told the Reuters news agency. According to US weather data, strong tornadoes usually strike in spring and summer in central states but occur less frequently in winter.
“It is total devastation,” Garland Police spokesman Lieutenant Pedro Barineau said. “It is a very difficult time to be struck by such a horrible storm the day after Christmas.”
In Illinois and Missouri, flash flooding killed at least 11 people, according to reports published on Sunday. Additionally, six people died in Tennessee and one each in Arkansas and Alabama by tornadoes.
Three more people were killed and scores of others were injured in the Dallas metropolitan area.