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Houston could be without power for weeks after hurricane-force storms smash through

Paul Squire   

Houston could be without power for weeks after hurricane-force storms smash through
  • Houston got hit by a line of thunderstorms with hurricane-strength winds.
  • At least 4 people are dead and almost 1 million are without power.

A series of powerful thunderstorms packing hurricane-force winds smashed through Houston on Thursday, leaving at least 4 people dead and nearly 1 million without power.

And damage to the grid could leave some parts of Texas's largest city without electricity for weeks, one county executive said.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said on Friday that the storm flipped an 18-wheeler and toppled power transmission towers. She said the recovery effort would take time.

"We are going to have to talk about this disaster in weeks, not days," Hidalgo commented at a press conference.

CenterPoint Energy said that more than 700,000 customers are still without electricity.

The storms plowed through Texas around 7 p.m. Thursday, packing winds of up to 75 miles per hour, Houston Public Media reported, citing the National Weather Service.

Photos from the area revealed the extent of the damage: downed trees, crushed cars, and even a partially collapsed building. The Associated Press reported that windows in skyscrapers were blown out by the powerful gusts, and glass littered the sidewalks.

Videos on social media show debris smashing through glass storefronts and driving rain inside Houston's Minute Maid Park baseball stadium — even though the roof was closed.

School districts across the area canceled classes on Friday, and Houston Mayor John Whitmire warned people not to go to work unless they were essential workers.

Texas has been battered by powerful storms recently. Heavy rains pounded the region earlier this month and caused severe flooding in the Houston metro area.

Texas has also suffered a series of power grid issues in recent years, both in summer and winter. That's led some people to move state.


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