Severe weather on Thursday afternoon and deadly tornadoes in north Texas have left hundreds of thousands of residents in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi without power. A tornado tore through the Texas Panhandle town of Perryton, killing three people, injuring dozens more, and causing widespread damage as another series of fierce storms carved its way through southern states. One person was also killed in the Florida Panhandle when a tornado ripped through Escambia County. First responders from surrounding towns and cities and neighboring Oklahoma descended on Perryton, which is home to more than 8,000 people and located about 115 miles northeast of Amarillo, just south of the Oklahoma line. Mobile home communities faced extensive damage, as did much of Perryton's downtown area. Perryton's downtown was walloped, with about two blocks of businesses heavily damaged, including an office supply store, floral shop, and hair salon. The roof of a bank in Lavon, Texas, collapsed after storms rolled through the area on Thursday evening.
Elsewhere in Texas and the southern United States, residents are being told to prepare for extreme heat through the weekend. The National Weather Service predicted temperatures would rise as high as the 110s. Much of southern Texas, including Corpus Christi, Laredo, and Victoria, are under excessive heat warnings. The National Weather Service predicts the heat index there could reach 115 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Southeastern Louisiana is also on alert for dangerously high temperatures, with New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Lafayette expected to experience a heat index of up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The weather service Friday strongly urged people to "drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors."