Tornado causes havoc in Texas as record-breaking heat wave looms

A tornado ripped through central Texas on Wednesday evening, causing huge damage and destroying homes, as forecasters warn of a potentially record-breaking heat wave in the state.

The city of Temple, northeast of Austin, declared a state of emergency and opened a shelter for displaced people after a twister caused widespread devastation.

Cars were overturned, power lines destroyed and entire buildings toppled in Temple, according to images published by NBC affiliate KXAN of Austin. There were no reports of deaths or injuries there or in the wider Bell County area, which was also hit by severe thunderstorms.

Footage posted on social media shows buildings in Temple and nearby Belton missing roofs, piles of rubble and smashed windows.

A resident assesses the damage after a tornado struck Temple, Texas.

A resident assesses the damage Wednesday after a tornado struck Temple, Texas.Bryce Shelton / LSM

Flood warnings were in place Thursday morning for much of northern Texas, including Dallas and Forth Worth, along with parts of Oklahoma.

Severe weather continues for a huge portion of the United States on Thursday, with warnings in place for 23 million people from Texas to North Dakota and New England. Omaha, Nebraska, is at particular risk and could face tornadoes, winds of more than 75 mph and hail measuring more than 2 inches across.

And there is no let-up on Friday: A previously mild forecast has been upgraded to put storm warnings in place for 37 million people from Dallas to Chicago. Large hail will particularly become a threat in the Southern Plains region.

More than 110,000 energy customers were without power as of 6 a.m. Thursday, as well as almost 20,000 in Louisiana, according to the energy connection tracking website PowerOutage.us.

The destructive weather comes as Texas faces a heat wave that could break 100-year-old records: the National Weather Service said the south of the state could see temperatures of more than 115 degrees over the weekend. The record high for Austin in May is 104, recorded in 1925.

"Record or near-record warm overnight temperatures will provide little to no relief to those without adequate or reliable cooling," the agency said in a forecast early Thursday.

Severe heat warnings were in place for hundreds of thousands of people across southern Texas from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. local time (2 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET).

"Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances," the weather service office covering Austin and San Antonio warned.

In a chaotic week in an extraordinary tornado season, at least four people have been confirmed dead as a result of extreme weather in Iowa, as a tornado devastated the town of Greenfield.

tornado causes havoc in texas as record-breaking heat wave looms
Patrick Smith

Patrick Smith is a London-based editor and reporter for NBC News Digital.

OTHER NEWS

24 minutes ago

The Uncomplicated Sandals Every Chic Person I Know Is Shopping for Summer

24 minutes ago

Trump clashes with allies in Bob Good’s bitter Virginia primary

27 minutes ago

Scorching ‘heat dome’ sends NYC temps soaring past 100: here’s how to stay cool

28 minutes ago

Here is the All-Ireland SFC state of play before tomorrow morning's draw

28 minutes ago

Dublin's extra-time drama forces Mayo into preliminary quarter-final

28 minutes ago

UK weather: Meteorologist reveals real reason June feels colder than normal

28 minutes ago

Louth beaten by Kerry on an afternoon where the referee became the talking point

28 minutes ago

Cards catcher Willson Contreras likely will begin a minor league rehab assignment on Tuesday

28 minutes ago

T20 World Cup, Ireland vs Pakistan: Fantasy 11 prediction, teams, captain, vice-captain, toss and venue analysis

29 minutes ago

‘Community, business hotspot’: Gastown repairs finished ahead of pedestrian pilot 

29 minutes ago

Sheffield DocFest Awards Top Prizes To ‘At The Door Of The House, Who Will Come Knocking,’ ‘The Boy And The Suit Of Lights,’ ‘No Other Land’

30 minutes ago

Is this the Greta Thunberg of food? Texas 18 year-old goes viral for fights with fast food giants over links with cancer - says eating a pack of fries is just as deadly as 25 cigarettes

30 minutes ago

Brutal identity theft warning as woman lumped with $200,000 debt due to 'outrageous' medical bills racked up by total stranger: 'None of this was me'

30 minutes ago

Stuart Pearce calls for shock England substitution just 29 MINUTES into Euro 2024 opener against Serbia - and says a dead-cert starter should come off for tournament debutant

30 minutes ago

I lost my mom, 3 siblings and nephew to early-onset cancer...years later I discovered a little-known genetic silent killer was to blame

30 minutes ago

Erik ten Hag says Man Utd ‘told me that they have spoken to other managers’

30 minutes ago

The 11 best Hulu Original movies to stream now

30 minutes ago

Public feels ‘an erosion of confidence’ in Supreme Court decision making: legal analyst

30 minutes ago

Rory McIlroy just got the worst break during U.S. Open final round

30 minutes ago

France captain Mbappé urges young people to vote, warns against ‘extremes’ ahead of snap polls

30 minutes ago

The far-right tends to be banalized in French politics, expert says

30 minutes ago

Experts say the Coalition's plan to build nuclear reactors is 'virtually impossible' without taxpayer funding

30 minutes ago

Gary Neville defends Manchester United star as former captain slams club

30 minutes ago

Himachal clears liabilities to the tune of Rs 153 cr

30 minutes ago

Prince William proves he wants to be 'modern' with stark contrast to childhood with King Charles

30 minutes ago

Pennsylvania landowners could be forced to accept carbon dioxide burial on their land

32 minutes ago

American tourist found dead on small Greek island; 3 other tourists are missing

34 minutes ago

Video: England fans goad Serbian supporters after being banned from getting on train guarded by riot police following an afternoon of violence in Germany ahead of Euros

34 minutes ago

Bruce Lehrmann touches down in Brisbane as he faces his second allegation of rape in court

34 minutes ago

NYU freshman stole designer jewelry and luxury items worth $51,000 from girl whose millionaire dad has links to Putin to make a quick buck online, lawsuit claims

36 minutes ago

Angel Reese commits flagrant foul on Caitlin Clark in Sky vs. Fever rematch

36 minutes ago

Giants place left-hander on 15-day IL with ankle sprain

36 minutes ago

Kylian Mbappe makes feelings clear after Real Madrid block Olympics call-up

36 minutes ago

Students going home could put 35 Tory seats at risk in election, analysis says

36 minutes ago

Angel Cabrera wins for the first time since release from prison

36 minutes ago

King Charles made balcony change at Trooping the Colour that affected Princess Kate - and you may not have noticed

36 minutes ago

Howe must finally axe Newcastle dud who earns more than Trafford

36 minutes ago

Andreescu drops Libema Open women's final in three sets to Samsonova

36 minutes ago

Bridgerton's pulse-racing modern string quartet music doesn't stop with season 3

36 minutes ago

Angel Reese Taunts Caitlin Clark's Fans with Bold Gesture in WNBA Clash