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Cooke County Tornado Leaves Seven Dead and Widespread Damage



Reports emerged of a building sustaining damage near Lone Oak Road and I-35, positioned between Sanger and Valley View. The Denton Fire Department, alongside various local agencies, mobilized to address reports of damage and injuries following a suspected tornado on Saturday night.

A powerful tornado hit southern Cooke County on Saturday night, killing at least seven people. Severe weather, likely including a tornado, also tore through parts of Cooke County and Denton counties in North Texas, causing more deaths, including children.

Cooke County Sheriff Ray Sappington told to media that among the victims of Tornado were three family members. Who died in their home near the community of Valley View, close to the Texas Oklahoma border.

The severe weather, which likely included a powerful tornado, caused extensive damage and resulted in the deaths of at least seven people. Which including children, in Cooke and Denton counties in North Texas late Saturday night.

Unfortunately, we expect that number to increase, Sappington stated. The house completely destroyed, reduced to just a path of debris. The damage is very extensive.


Sappington added that at least two more children are still missing.

Strong storms moved through the area overnight and into Sunday, causing widespread damage and sadly taking the lives of at least two people in Arkansas and two in Oklahoma. This adds to a month full of tornadoes, especially in the Midwest, where there have been many tornadoes recently.

Devastation from a fierce tornado struck Valley View, Texas, on May 26, 2024.
Devastation from a fierce tornado struck Valley View, Texas, on May 26, 2024.

Officials reported that the tornado that hit Cooke County caused a lot of damage. An AP Travel Center south of Valley View heavily damaged, along with some manufactured homes in a nearby RV park. There also reports of cars being flipped over on Interstate 35 because of the tornado.

Kendall Cross, aged 27, resides on a small horse farm located east of I-35 in Valley View. She, along with several other volunteers, was assisting at a feeding center set up at Valley View United Methodist on Sunday.

During the tornado, she sought shelter in her closet along with her dogs. Cross expressed her gratitude that her property sustained only minor damage, such as a few broken windows and some fallen trees.


We’re really grateful that everyone, including the horses, dogs, and people around us, is okay, she remarked.

But as she looked around, she couldn’t ignore the devastation that the tornado had wreaked in other neighborhoods of the city. With a heavy heart, she decided to take action. Early Sunday morning, she gathered some essential supplies and headed to the local church.

Seeing the extent of the damage in town, she knew she had to do something to help. When I saw how badly some parts of the city were hit, I knew we had to step in, she explained. So, we made sure to bring along dog food and diapers to the church.

It was a small gesture, but she hoped it would make a difference to those who were struggling in the aftermath of the storm. And as she handed over the donations, she felt a sense of solidarity with her community, knowing that they were all coming together to support each other in a time of need.


Pastor Beate Hall, a 32-year-old who works at Valley View United Methodist Church, has taken charge of the recovery efforts there.

Last Saturday, the church opened its doors as a safe space where folks could grab a cup of coffee and a bite to eat. But now, Pastor Beate says they’re offering even more help. We’ve got quite a few essentials available here: deodorant, diapers, she mentioned. And as for food, we’ve got plenty.

It’s a hub of support for those in need, providing not just nourishment but also clothing and other necessities. Pastor Beate and her team are working tirelessly to ensure that their community gets the help it deserves during this difficult time.

The past day has been a whirlwind for Hall. At around 10 p.m. on Saturday night, her phone started buzzing with texts from family members warning her about the storm. Concerned for her congregation, she immediately began texting with them to ensure everyone was safe.

A structure near Lone Oak Road and I-35 between Sanger and Valley View suffered damage.
A structure near Lone Oak Road and I-35 between Sanger and Valley View suffered damage.

I quickly grabbed my birth certificate and some essentials, then hunkered down in my bathtub with my bike helmet on, she recalled.

Luckily, her home remained unscathed, but Hall is acutely aware that many in the Valley View community weren’t as fortunate.

Some folks have lost everything, she lamented, reflecting on the harsh reality faced by her neighbors. Despite her own close call, Hall’s focus remains on supporting those who have hardest hit by the storm, embodying the spirit of resilience and community solidarity.

She’s aware that some families managed to evacuate to Denton before the storm struck. But the devastation they’ve faced is still heartbreaking. They’ve lost their beloved pets, precious photos, and their homes, she sighed, empathizing with their immense losses.

Hall recognizes that the aftermath of the storm calls for a sustained effort from various organizations and community leaders. She emphasized the need for ongoing collaboration between the Red Cross, churches, the city, and the mayor to provide support and aid to those affected.


To facilitate this relief effort, the John Fortenberry Community Center, located at 101 S. Lee Street in Valley View, has become a central point for collecting donations. It’s a testament to the community’s resilience and willingness to come together in times of adversity, rallying around their neighbors in need.

In Denton County, the Denton Fire Department shared on social media that their medics and firefighters rushed to Lake Ray Roberts Marina, just east of Sanger, to help those affected by the storm. They worked tirelessly to rescue people trapped in the wreckage and searched through damaged houses and RVs in the vicinity.

As dawn broke on Sunday morning, Lake Ray Roberts Marina updated its Facebook page. Which revealing the extent of the damage it had suffered. The post mentioned that many RVs had overturned, trapping several individuals inside. Thankfully, all safely rescued, with no reports of serious injuries.

The marina’s management also disclosed that the damage t limited to the RVs boat houses and most boats had also been affected. They mourned the loss of their fuel dock and offices, along with their beloved dock cat, Ginger.


Meanwhile, the city of Pilot Point faced its own challenges. A news release stated that approximately 1,200 residents left without power around midnight. By adding to the difficulties faced by the community in the wake of the storm.

The Denton County Office of Emergency Management confirmed that a tornado tore through the area. Which crossing over Interstate 35 between Sanger and Valley View on Saturday night.

The storm then continued its path eastward across northern Denton County. The National Weather Service in Fort Worth reported that tornadic activity observed over Ray Roberts Lake State Park and the Pilot Point areas.

As the night progressed, the Denton County Office of Emergency Management remained vigilant. By 11:45 p.m., they were able to cancel the previous tornado warning. As though the impact of the storm was still being felt throughout the affected communities.


As per updates from the Denton Fire Department shared on social media. The outdoor warning sirens went off earlier on Saturday evening within the city. This occurred because the tornado warning encompassed the northern side of the city limits. It’s standard protocol that whenever a tornado warning touches any part of the city limits. As all sirens are activated as a precautionary measure.

Moving to Sunday, Collin County Judge Chris Hill took decisive action. By issuing a disaster declaration following reports of a tornado causing significant damage in and around the town of Celina.

The county indicated that several homes were demolished, and approximately 15,000 residents were left without power overnight. Despite the severity of the situation, there were thankfully no reports of any serious injuries or fatalities. Which providing a glimmer of relief amidst the chaos and destruction.