Severe storm in Texas knocked out power to 900,000 businesses and homes in Houston and blew out hundreds of office and hotel windows

Move fast thunderstorms struck southeast Texas on Thursday for the second time this month, killing at least four people, blowing out windows of high-rise buildings, toppling trees and damaging more than 900,000 homes and businesses in the region. The Houston area lost power.

Officials urged people to stay off the roads as many were impassable and traffic lights were expected to stay off overnight.

“Let’s stay home tonight. Don’t go to work tomorrow unless you are an essential worker. Stay home, take care of your children,” Houston Mayor John Whitmire said during an evening briefing. “Our first responders will be working around the clock.”

The mayor said four people died in the severe weather. Officials said at least two of the deaths were caused by falling trees and another was caused by a crane being blown away by strong winds.

Streets flooded, and trees and power lines were downed throughout the area. Whitmire said wind speeds reached 100 mph (160 km/h), “with some gusts.” He said the gusts were reminiscent of Hurricane Ike in 2008, which devastated the city.

Hundreds of windows at downtown hotels and office buildings were broken, glass was scattered across the streets below, and the state was sending Department of Public Safety officers to secure the area .

“Downtown is a mess,” Whitmire said.

He added that there is a backlog of calls to 911 that first responders are working through.

At Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros, the retractable roof was closed due to the storm. But the wind was so strong that it still blew rain into the stadium. Puddles formed on the outfield warning track, but the game against the Oakland Athletics was still played.

Houston Independent School District canceled classes Friday for about 400,000 students at all 274 schools.

The storm system moved quickly but flood watches and warnings remained for Houston and eastern areas. Severe storms moved into neighboring Louisiana and left more than 215,000 customers without power.

Flights were briefly grounded at Houston’s two major airports. Sustained winds reaching speeds of 60 mph (96 km/h) were recorded at Bush Intercontinental Airport.

According to, about 900,000 customers were without power in and around Harris County, which includes Houston. The county is home to more than 4.7 million people.

The problems also spread to the city’s suburbs, with emergency officials in neighboring Montgomery County describing damage to transmission lines as “catastrophic” and warning that power could be affected. enjoy for a few days.

Huge storm devastated the area in the first week of Mayleading to multiple rescues as the water rose, including several from the roofs of flooded homes.

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