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Tuesday July 23, 2024

Houston grapples with heat, power cuts after major storms

By Reuters
May 19, 2024
Houston Fire Department Wildland District 14 crews assess a downed tree blocking a street after a severe storm caused widespread damage in Spring Branch, Texas, U.S., May 17, 2024. — Reuters
Houston Fire Department Wildland District 14 crews assess a downed tree blocking a street after a severe storm caused widespread damage in Spring Branch, Texas, U.S., May 17, 2024. — Reuters

HOUSTON: Thousands of people in the Houston area faced sweltering heat without power on Saturday following severe storms that claimed at least seven lives, according to local media and the National Weather Service.

The NWS predicted temperatures around 90 degrees (32.2 C) and warned residents in a post on the X social media platform of the threat of heat stroke, saying “Don’t overdo yourself” as they continued cleaning up from Thursday night’s storms.

Storms packing winds of up to 100 mph (161 kph) tore through the region, damaging homes and buildings, felling power lines and leaving more than 800,000 people without electricity, according to local media.

A tornado touched down near the suburb of Cypress, shattering trees and windows and strewing debris, local media said.

As of Saturday morning, more than 500,000 people in the region still were without power, according to PowerOutage.us, a website, opens new tab that aggregates electricity outage data from utilities across the United States.

President Joe Biden on Friday issued, opens new tab a major disaster declaration for seven Texas counties, making residents and businesses eligible for federal assistance.