4 Dead As Massive Storms Ravage Houston Area, Almost 1M Without Power In Texas

A woman looks at the damage caused by fallen bricks from a building wall in the aftermath of a severe thunderstorm Friday, May 17, 2024, in Houston. Thunderstorms pummeled southeastern Texas on Thursday, killing at least four people, blowing out windows in high-rise buildings and knocking out power to more than 900,000 homes and businesses in the Houston area. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
A woman looks at the damage caused by fallen bricks from a building wall in the aftermath of a severe thunderstorm Friday, May 17, 2024, in Houston. Thunderstorms pummeled southeastern Texas on Thursday, killing at least four people, blowing out windows in high-rise buildings and knocking out power to more than 900,000 homes and businesses in the Houston area. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

OAN’s James Meyers
10:25 AM – Friday, May 17, 2024

Emergency crews in Southeast Texas were clearing debris and assessing flooding early on Friday after powerful storms damaged the Longhorn State, killing at least four people and knocking out power to almost 800,000 customers. 

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“We have a storm with 100 mph winds, the equivalent of Hurricane Ike, causing considerable damage downtown,” Houston Mayor John Whitmire (D-Texas) said, adding that the region may have been hit by tornadoes as well.

At least two fatalities were caused by fallen trees, Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pena told reporters. Another was caused by a “crane that was blown over by the wind.” 

Whitmer pleaded with people to “stay at home.”

“There’s trees across roadways across Houston,” Whitmire said. 

Additionally, the mayor said the city was working through a “backlog” of 911 emergency calls.

The storm is now headed further east, with residents in New Orleans told to “TAKE COVER NOW!” by the local branch of the National Weather Service, which also said 70 mph winds were set to ravage Louisiana’s largest city and its surroundings. 

Additionally, in Texas, the night’s destruction was revealed even before sunrise, with massive winds ripping through windows of high-rise buildings in downtown Houston, and inundating the region with flooding. 

“I know that many people lived through, and are still living through, scary situations with the terrible strong winds that blew across our county tonight,” Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said in a statement.

“Damage assessments are ongoing, and we cannot know how long it will take to clear debris without those assessments completed, but from initial reports the debris looks very significant,” Hidalgo said.

She added that “until we fully understand the magnitude of this incident, all cards are on the table to ensure we recover as quickly as possible.”

Flights were grounded at Houston’s two major airports because of the weather. Sustained winds of 60 mph were recorded at Bush Intercontinental Airport. 

The Houston Independent School District announced all schools would be closed on Friday. 

“Please avoid the roadways if possible, but if you’re out, please use caution and be on the lookout for debris,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez wrote on social media.

The latest chaotic weather comes after heavy storms hit the region hard during the first week of May, leading to multiple high-water rescues, which included some from the rooftops of flooded homes. 

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