Severe Storms Leave Four Dead, Over A Million Without Power In Houston Area

A line of powerful thunderstorms tore through southeastern Texas on Thursday evening causing widespread damage and leaving at least four people dead. The storms also knocked out power to more than 1 million impacted people across the region.

Houston Mayor John Whitmire said the city experienced winds up to 100 mph equivalent to those of Hurricane Ike. “Considerable damage” was reported in downtown Houston, according to Whitmire.

Two of the fatalities were caused by falling trees while another was the result of a crane toppled by the strong winds Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pena said. Whitmire urged residents to stay home as the city worked through a “backlog” of 911 emergency calls.

The storms blasted the Houston area with ferocious winds that toppled trees blew out windows of high-rise buildings and caused transmission towers holding power lines to crumble. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office and National Weather Service encouraged everyone to stay off the roads warning of widespread debris glass and electrical lines in the streets.

PowerOutage.us reported that more than 800,000 people in the Houston metro area lost power but with nearby counties also affected the state’s tally climbed to well over 1 million customers at the storm’s peak. The line of storms eventually raced east into Louisiana pummeling New Orleans with gusts of 84 mph and leaving over 200,000 in that state without power.

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