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Deadly storms slam Houston yet again; hundreds of thousands without power across Texas

Deadly storms ripped out windows from high-rise buildings, downed trees and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in the Houston area Thursday as southeast Texas was battered. for the second time this month. At least four people were killed because of the storms, Houston Mayor John Whitmire told reporters at a press briefing Thursday evening.

“We have a storm with 100 mph winds, the equivalent of Hurricane Ike, that has caused significant damage to downtown,” Whitmire said, adding that the area may also have been hit by tornadoes.

At least two of the deaths were caused by fallen trees, Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña told reporters. Another was caused by a “crane blown over by the wind.”

Whitmire urged people to “stay home.”

“There are trees on the roads in Houston,” Whitmire said.

Several downtown office buildings lost their windows.

“There’s glass all over the streets downtown, the traffic lights are out,” Whitmire said.

Flash flood and severe thunderstorm warnings were issued in several counties before the evening, according to the National Weather Service office in Houston.

“Take shelter now if you’re in the path of this storm. Head to the lowest floor!” the NWS office had warned earlier on social networks.

Storms hit Houston again, more than 1 million customers without power in Texas
Part of a building collapsed in Houston, Texas, when powerful thunderstorms hit the area. May 16, 2024.

Brian Crimmins on X

The mayor said the city was dealing with a “backlog” of emergency calls to 911. The majority of them were for gas leaks and downed wires, Peña said.

Streets were flooded and trees fell throughout the area. CBS affiliate KHOU-TV showed footage of broken windows at a downtown Houston office building, with glass littering the street below. A video posted on social media shows a downtown street covered in debris.

The video also appears to show water being blown into Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros, despite the stadium’s roof being closed. The Astros hosted the Oakland Athletics on Thursday.

“If you’re still here after an Astros game, don’t go west through downtown,” Whitmire said.

In total, just under 1 million customers were without power in Texas as of Thursday evening, according to the utility tracking site That number had fallen to some 834,000 as of 4 a.m. local time.

Of that total, more than 808,000 customers were without power in and around Harris County, which includes Houston. The county is home to more than 4.7 million residents.

“I ask everyone to be patient and look out for your neighbors,” Whitmire said. “It will take 24 hours for much of this energy to be restored, some will require 48 hours.”

Flights were grounded at Houston’s two main airports due to weather conditions. Sustained winds exceeding 60 mph were recorded at Bush Intercontinental Airport.

Houston Independent School District announcement all schools would be closed on Friday.

“Please avoid the roads if possible, but if you are outside, use caution and be on the lookout for debris,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said. wrote on social networks. Gonzalez shared an image of vehicles trying to get around a massive tree that had crashed into an intersection.

Severe storms hit the region during the first week of May, leading to many rescues in the flood, some from the roofs of flooded homes.

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With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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