USA News

Houston weather: 7 dead as storm power outages raise heat risk

HOUSTON (AP) — As the Houston area works to clean and restore power to thousands of people after deadly storms that left at least seven dead, it will be Saturday under a smog warning and as all of South Texas begins to feel the heat.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said 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 tried to ‘use your vehicle to supply your oxygen tank. .

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

The National Weather Service has issued flood advisories and watches for parts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

LACK OF ELECTRICITY INCREASES POSSIBILITY OF HEAT-RELATED ILLNESS

The National Weather Service in Houston warned that with temperatures hovering around 90 degrees (32.2 C) this weekend, people should experience the symptoms of heat exhaustion. “Don’t overdo it during the cleaning process,” he said in a post on social platform X.

A woman looks at the damage caused by bricks that fell from a wall of a building following a severe storm Friday, May 17, 2024, in Houston.  (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

A woman looks at the damage caused by bricks that fell from a wall of a building following a severe storm Friday, May 17, 2024, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Mild weather is a concern in a region where more than half a million homes and businesses remained without power as of Saturday morning, up from nearly a million, according to PowerOutage.us.

Severe storms Thursday with winds up to 100 mph (161 km/h) blew out windows across downtown, while a tornado touched down near Cypress, in the northwest suburbs of Houston .

ELECTRICITY COULD BE CUT FOR WEEKS IN SOME AREAS

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said Friday that restoring power to some areas could take weeks.

As several transmission towers failed, Hidalgo urged patience. Another 21,000 customers were without power in Louisiana, where high winds and a suspected tornado struck, down from a peak of 215,000.

Tree service crews climb on top of an SUV to cut down a tree that fell on it at an apartment complex in the 4600 block of Sherwood following a severe storm Friday, May 17, 2024 in Houston .  (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Tree service crews climb on top of an SUV to cut down a tree that fell on it at an apartment complex in the 4600 block of Sherwood following a severe storm Friday, May 17, 2024 in Houston . (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Fans head to Minute Maid Park as a severe thunderstorm hits before a baseball game between the Oakland Athletics and the Houston Astros, Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Houston.  (Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Fans head to Minute Maid Park as a severe thunderstorm hits before a baseball game between the Oakland Athletics and the Houston Astros, Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Houston. (Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle via AP)

The Houston Department of Health announced it will distribute 400 free portable air conditioners to area seniors, people with disabilities and caregivers of children with disabilities.

GENERATED DESTRUCTION PUT HOUSTON TO A STOP

Widespread destruction paralyzed much of Houston. Trees, debris and broken glass littered the streets. The brick wall of a building was torn out.

Workers clean up broken glass inside a damaged downtown restaurant after a severe thunderstorm, Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Houston.  (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Workers clean up broken glass inside a damaged downtown restaurant after a severe thunderstorm, Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Houston-area school districts canceled classes Friday for more than 400,000 students and government offices were closed. City officials urged people to avoid the city center and stay off roads, many of which were flooded or lined with downed power lines and malfunctioning traffic lights.

Mayor 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.

“Most Houstonians did not have time to get out of danger,” Whitmire said at a news conference.

Noelle Delgado stopped by Houston Pets Alive, the animal rescue organization where she is executive director, Thursday evening to find that the dogs and cats — more than 30 in total — were unharmed, but the 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.”

Yesenia Guzmán worried about whether she would get paid while the power was still out at the restaurant where she works in the Houston suburb of Katy.

“We don’t really know what’s going to happen,” she said.

DISASTER DECLARATION OPENS THE WAY FOR AID

Whitmire signed a disaster declaration, paving the way for state and federal storm recovery assistance. President Joe Biden also issued a disaster declaration for seven Texas counties, including Harris, during violent stormsstraight line winds, tornadoes and flooding since April 26. His action makes federal funds available to those affected by the storms.

A man walks through fallen bricks from a damaged building following a severe thunderstorm Friday, May 17, 2024 in Houston.  (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

A man walks through fallen bricks from a damaged building following a severe thunderstorm Friday, May 17, 2024 in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Emergency officials in neighboring Montgomery County called the damage to transmission lines “catastrophic.”

Destroyed high-voltage transmission towers and downed power lines pose a double challenge for the utility company because the damage has affected transmission and distribution systems, according to electricity and distribution expert Alexandria von Meier. in energy, 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. Centerpoint Energy deployed 1,000 employees Friday and had requested 5,000 additional line workers and vegetation professionals.

___

Associated Press reporters Ken Miller in Oklahoma City; Jamie Stengle in Dallas; Valerie Gonzalez in McAllen, Texas; and Lisa Baumann in Bellingham, Washington, contributed to this report.

News Source : apnews.com
Gn usa

jack colman

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.
Back to top button