Emergency Response in Southeast Texas as Deadly Storms Claim Lives

For the second time this month, southeastern Texas was battered by swift-moving thunderstorms on Thursday. The storms caused at least four fatalities, blew out windows in tall buildings, brought down trees, and cut off electricity to over 850,000 homes and businesses in the Houston region.

Since many of the roads were impassable and traffic lights were predicted to stay out for the whole of the night, officials asked the populace to avoid driving.

“Stay at home tonight. Do not go to work tomorrow, unless you’re an essential worker. Stay home, take care of your children,” Houston Mayor John Whitmire stated. “Our first responders will be working around the clock.”

Four deaths, according to the mayor, were caused by the extreme weather. According to officials, at least two of the fatalities were caused by fallen trees, while a third occurred when a crane toppled over in high winds.

Throughout the area, power lines and trees had fallen, and streets were submerged in water. Winds approached 100 mph (160 kph), according to Whitmire, “with some twisters.” He claimed that the strong gusts brought back memories of Hurricane Ike, which battered the city in 2008.

Glass was all over the downtown hotels and office buildings, shattering hundreds of windows, and the state was dispatching Department of Public Safety officers to clean up the mess.

He also mentioned that first responders were processing through a backlog of 911 calls.

Approximately 400,000 pupils in all 274 of the Houston Independent School District’s campuses were not allowed to attend classrooms on Friday.

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Although the storm system passed quickly, Houston and the surrounding areas were still under flood watches and warnings. Over 170,000 people were without power as a result of the violent storms that pushed into neighboring Louisiana.

The two main airports in Houston saw a brief suspension of flights. Bush Intercontinental Airport observed sustained winds exceeding 60 mph (96 kph).

According to poweroutage.us, about 855,000 consumers in and around Harris County, which includes Houston, were without energy. The population of the county exceeds 4.7 million.

The suburbs of the city were also affected; emergency personnel in Montgomery County, a nearby county, described the damage to transmission lines as “catastrophic” and issued a warning that power outages would last for several days.

During the first week of May, the area was hit by strong storms that resulted in multiple high-water rescues, some from the rooftops of flooded residences.

Reference

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