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Texas: Deadly Storm Beryl cuts power to millions in Houston

Jul 10, 2024

Texas [US], July 10: Tropical Storm Beryl hit the southern US state of Texas on Monday, killing at least four people and causing major flooding.
The storm was downgraded from hurricane status by the US National Hurricane Centre (NHC) after it made landfall near the coastal Texas town of Matagorda. It was later downgraded to a tropical depression, and expected to weaken further.
Despite the downgrade, the NHC said that conditions caused by Beryl could create tornadoes in Texas, as well as in the neighboring states of Louisiana and Arkansas.
A tornado in Jasper County, on the border with the state of Louisiana, destroyed about thirty houses.
Four dead, power outages expected for days
A 53-year-old man and a 74-year-old woman were killed in separate incidents after trees fell on their homes in the Houston area.
A third person, a civilian employee of the Houston Police Department, drowned after being trapped by floodwaters under a highway overpass, according to local officials. Another person died in a fire possibly sparked by lightning.
The storm caused power to be cut for 2.7 million homes and businesses in the area around Houston, which is Texas' most populous city.
According to monitor, power returned to around 300,000 of those houses on Monday night after a peak earlier in the day.
Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said that it could take multiple days for power to be restored.
Patrick said that the CenterPoint Energy company had brought in thousands of additional workers to restore power.
Highways were flooded and over 1,000 flights were cancelled.
Oil refining activity slowed and some production sites were evacuated. Texas is the US biggest oil producer.
Beryl weakens after reaching Texas
The storm made landfall earlier Monday in Texas as a Category 1 hurricane and weakened to a tropical storm hours later.
The storm was the season's earliest Category 5 hurricane on record.
Last weekend, it ripped through the Caribbean and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, killing at least 11 people.
Source: Times of Oman