The first official day of summer isn’t until Wednesday, but the warm weather season has already provided a slew of volatile — and sometimes violent — .
“It started raining here a little bit, and it had a little bit of hail, like five or six little pellets of hail and a thousand raindrops. It was barely sprinkling. And all a sudden, the tornado formed, and it just dropped on us. It came out of nowhere,” said Jamie James of Perryton, Texas.
More than 50 million Americans were under a severe weather threat Friday, with dangerously high heat, high winds and hail expected in some places.
This weather threat comes after severe storms already hit a number of states within the week. The National Weather Service says two hit Thursday in Texas, four hit Oklahoma and one hit Michigan.
In the panhandle town of Perryton, at least three people were killed, and as many as 200 homes were destroyed. The local hospital used a generator for power as it treated dozens of people injured by the storm.
“There was a time when I thought that I was going to die, and I was going to leave a lot of things undone,” said James. “I know there’s people here who died today serving our community.”
In the Florida panhandle, there was flooding, and at least one person was killed as a tornado cut through Escambia County.
In northwest Ohio, utility workers scrambled to restore electricity to thousands as trees knocked down power lines and blocked streets.
These storms hit as dangerously high heat smothered the South, with record-high temperatures in the triple digits across central to southern Texas.
Landscaper Felix Dominguez said he carries plenty of water and tries to get into the shade as much as possible.
“It’s important because, I mean, we can drop dead in any second, or we could get heat stroke,” he said. “It’s really hot here, especially in Texas.”
The weekend may also bring strong storms to Oklahoma and along the Gulf Coast beaches.
On Sunday, powerful thunderstorms could come to the lower Mississippi River Valley, and more could be hitting Texas.