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Houston power outages: Thousands remain without electricity amid scorching heat after deadly storm

As the Houston area works to clean up and restore power to hundreds of thousands after deadly storms left at least seven dead, it will do so amid a smog and temperature warning heatwaves which could pose health risks.

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National Weather Service meteorologist Marc Chenard said Saturday that temperatures around 90 degrees (32.2 C) were expected through the start of the coming week, with heat indexes likely near 100 degrees. (38°C) mid-week.

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“We expect the heat impact to gradually increase … we will start to see that heat risk increase from Tuesday through Wednesday into Friday,” Chenard said.

The heat index is how the human body feels when humidity is combined with air temperature, according to the weather service.

“Don’t overdo it during the cleaning process,” the Houston Weather Service office said in a post on social platform X.

In addition to the heat, the Houston area could experience poor air quality over the weekend.

Heavy rain was possible Saturday in eastern Louisiana and central Alabama, and parts of Louisiana were also at risk of flooding.

The Houston Department of Health announced it will distribute 400 free portable air conditioners to area seniors, people with disabilities and people who care for children with disabilities to cope with the heat.

Five cooling centers were also opened: four in Houston and one in Kingwood.


Widespread destruction from Thursday’s storms paralyzed much of Houston. Thunderstorms and strong winds ravaged the city, decimating the facade of a brick building and leaving trees, debris and shards of glass in the streets. A tornado also touched down near Cypress, a northwest suburb of Houston.

More than half a million homes and businesses in Texas remained without power as of midday Saturday, according to Another 21,000 customers were also without power in Louisiana, where high winds and a suspected tornado struck.

“It’s a madhouse out here,” said Cypress resident Hallie O’Bannon. “You know we have no power. No hot water. It was really crazy.

“Everyone is pretty resilient, and everyone is just trying to get back to normal and help each other in the best way possible,” O’Bannon added.

CenterPoint Energy, which has deployed 1,000 employees to the region and is requesting 5,000 more, said restoring power could take several days, or longer in some areas, and that customers should make sure their homes can be reconnected safely.

“In addition to damaging CenterPoint Energy’s infrastructure and electrical equipment, the weather may have caused damage to customer-owned equipment” such as the weather head, where electricity enters the home, the company said. Company.

Customers must have repairs carried out by a qualified electrician before service can be restored, CenterPoint added.

Destroyed high-voltage transmission towers and downed power lines pose a double challenge for utility companies because the damage has affected transmission and distribution systems, according to electricity and energy expert Alexandria von Meier , who called it a rare thing. Damage to the distribution system is more common, von Meier said.

How quickly repairs are completed will depend on a variety of factors, including the time needed to assess the damage, replacement of equipment, access issues at roadworks and availability of labor.


Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez reported Friday evening that three people died during the storm, including an 85-year-old woman whose home caught fire after being struck by lightning and a 60-year-old man who attempted to use his vehicle for fuel. its oxygen tank.

Houston Mayor John Whitmire previously said at least four other people were killed in the city when storms swept through Harris County, which includes Houston.

Houston-area school districts canceled classes Friday for more than 400,000 students and government offices were closed.

Houston Independent School District Superintendent Mike Miles said Saturday that he hopes to reopen schools Monday, but that depends on power being restored to school buildings.

“If a school doesn’t have power, it’s going to stay closed,” Miles told reporters during a tour of the heavily damaged Sinclair Elementary School.

Whitmire warned that police were out in force, including state troopers sent to the area to prevent looting. He said the speed and intensity of the storm caught many off guard.

Noelle Delgado, executive director of Houston Pets Alive, said she stopped by the animal rescue Thursday evening and found the dogs and cats – more than 30 in total – unharmed, but the building’s awning had been torn off, the panel was mutilated and water was leaking inside.

She hoped to find foster homes for the animals.

“I could definitely tell this storm was a little different,” she said. “It was terrifying.”


In light of the storm’s damage, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Whitmire both signed disaster declarations, paving the way for state and federal recovery assistance following the storm .

A separate disaster declaration from President Joe Biden makes federal funding available to residents of seven Texas counties – including Harris – that have been hit by severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes and flooding since the 26 april.

This story was published from a wire feed without modifications to the text. Only the title has been changed.

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