The American South is facing severe weather conditions as a result of a massive heatwave and severe storms that have left thousands without power. The National Weather Service predicts that heat indices could reach 120 degrees in some parts of Texas on Monday, and are advising people to stay inside and stay hydrated to avoid heat exhaustion or other heat-related illnesses. Power outages are affecting more than 200,000 people in Oklahoma, 85,000 in Texas, 80,000 in Louisiana, 45,000 in Mississippi, 30,000 in Arkansas and 15,000 in Alabama. Some areas have been without power since Saturday night, and power is not expected to return until Tuesday. The weather has left over 50 million people under either heat advisories or excessive heat warning designations. Over the weekend, severe storms produced at least one tornado in Mississippi, which resulted in one death and 19 injuries. There is a possibility that multiple tornadoes hit the area.
The extreme weather conditions come days after another set of storms killed three people late Thursday night in the Texas Panhandle, another person in Mississippi and a fifth in Florida. The severity of the weather has led to residents being forced to pick through rubble in a Texas town pummeled by a tornado. The National Weather Service has advised people to take precautions and to avoid going outside during the hottest parts of the day. The situation is expected to continue bringing dangerously high heat to the region through Wednesday. The devastation caused by the weather conditions highlights the need for people to prepare for such extreme weather events and to take necessary precautions to avoid fatalities or injuries.