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At least 3 dead in Texas after severe storms bring tornadoes and tennis ball-sized hail to western and central US

At least three people are dead in a northwestern Texas town after a tornado struck it Wednesday, an official said, as storms pummeled parts of the western and central US and drew at least 11 tornado reports across four states.

A tornado struck Matador, a town of a few hundred people roughly a 280-mile drive northwest of Dallas, Wednesday evening, the National Weather Service office in Lubbock said.

The tornado destroyed Grundy’s home – leaving her without clothes or medicine – and scattered or killed much of the livestock she kept on her property, she said.

“It’s completely gone,” Grundy said, adding all of her chickens were gone and most of her cattle and horses were dead.

Rough weather continues Thursday, with more than 42 million people under at least a marginal risk of severe weather from Wyoming to Texas and in parts of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, the Storm Prediction Center said.

People in Texas and Oklahoma are also battling extreme temperatures this week – above 100 degrees in some areas – even as hundreds of thousands are without power following devastating storms

Wednesday’s deadly tornado marked the second such disaster in Texas in less than a week. A tornado killed at least three people and injured dozens of others in the Texas Panhandle city of Perryton, about 180 miles north of Matador, on June 15, authorities said.

At least 11 tornado reports were made Wednesday across the western and central US, including six in Colorado, three in Texas, one in Wyoming and one in Nebraska, according to the Storm Prediction Center.

Nearly 100 people attending a concert Wednesday evening at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre near Denver were injured after being pelted with hail during severe storms that moved across the area, the West Metro Fire Department said.

At least seven people were taken to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries, the fire department said in a tweet. Up to 90 people were treated on scene, the department said. Injuries included cuts and broken bones, the tweet said.

Storms bring massive hail, power outages

Wednesday’s storms battered parts of the western and central US with large hail and lashing winds, the prediction service said.

Tennis ball-sized hail – around 2.75 inches – was reported in several cities in Colorado and Texas on Wednesday, including in Matador. In Jayton, Texas, where a 4-inch hailstone was reported.

Nearly 500,000 homes and businesses were without power overnight in Texas and Oklahoma, according to utility tracker

Severe thunderstorm watches were in effect early Thursday for more than 15 million people in the region, including those in Houston, Texas, and Denver, Colorado.

Texans battle dueling heat and severe storms

Many Texans are grappling with a double whammy of destructive storms and record-breaking temperatures this week.

Texas is among a handful of southern states that have seen triple-digit temperatures in recent days. On Wednesday, the southern Texas cities of Laredo and McAllen saw record highs of 114 and 107 degrees, respectively.

Around 10 million people were under heat alerts across southern Texas and New Mexico early Thursday.

Some heat alerts are set to expire as conditions slowly improve Thursday evening, providing a small reprieve.

The relief will be short-lived, however. Sweltering temperatures are expected to return Sunday and last into next week.

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