Thousands of Americans without power due to severe weather

Nearly 200,000 people across several American states remain without power after an onslaught of deadly tornadoes and thunderstorms.

The severe weather killed at least 23 people over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, injuring hundreds of others and leaving a path of destruction across a swathe of the US.

Forecasters are continuing to warn of strong thunderstorms and flash flooding across northern and central parts of Texas.

Meanwhile, southern areas of the state are sweltering under extreme heat, as is the south of Florida.

Although this heat is gradually abating, near-record highs remain possible, the National Weather Service (NWS) says.

In a Tuesday morning update, the NWS warned of "significant damaging wind and large hail" in Texas. The threat there, and in southern Oklahoma, extends to Wednesday.

The NWS earlier said heavy rain was expected up and down the east coast - from New York to Maryland - and with it, a slight of risk of thunderstorms in those areas.

Kentucky is the state currently worst affected by power cuts, according to monitoring site, which says more than 80,000 homes are affected.

Hundreds of damage reports

Sunday was the busiest severe weather day in the US so far this year, with more than 600 reports of storm damage across 20 states. Twisters and heavy winds reduced buildings to piles of rubble, flipped cars and brought down power lines.

Lightning, thunder and heavy rain meanwhile forced the evacuation of around 125,000 spectators as Sunday's Indianapolis 500 race was delayed by four hours.

Weather-related deaths have been reported in several states over the last few days, including eight in Arkansas, seven in Texas, two in Oklahoma, five in Kentucky and another in Alabama.

President Joe Biden spoke with the governors of each state affected by the storms, and offered federal assistance.

A state of emergency has been declared by Kentucky Governor Andy Bashear, citing "devastating storms that hit almost the entire state".

In Colorado, a farmer and 34 of his cows were killed in a lightning strike.

A car sits in a pile of debris after major storms through Texas
Sunday was the busiest extreme-weather day in the US so far this year [BBC]

In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott said more than a third of counties were subject to a disaster declaration after extreme weather ploughed through the state.

All of the state's seven deaths were reported in Valley View in Cooke County, Texas near the Oklahoma border after a tornado hit a rural area near a mobile home park.

Two children, aged two and five, and three members of the same family were among those found dead.

Footage from the area showed a filling station and rest stop almost completely destroyed, with twisted metal littered over damaged vehicles.

The latest twisters follow another powerful tornado which tore through a rural Iowa town and killed four people earlier in May.

Government forecasters have also described this summer as a possibly "extraordinary" 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, beginning next month.

Additional reporting by James FitzGerald