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Hundreds of thousands of Texans are still without power after storms unleash hurricane-force winds

Julio Cortez/AP via CNN Newsource 28 May 24

By Elizabeth Wolfe, CNN

(CNN) — Hundreds of thousands of Texans are without power and many could be in the dark for several days after fierce and deadly storms tore through the state Tuesday and over the holiday weekend, leaving people to pick up the pieces of devastated homes and businesses amid uncomfortably hot weather.

More than 280,000 utility customers in Texas were without power as of Wednesday evening, including more than 150,000 in Dallas County alone, according to

Both Houston and Dallas were slammed with hurricane-force winds Tuesday as violent storms flooded roads, upended trees and power lines and reduces some buildings to shells of their former selves.

The winds collapsed an under-construction home in Magnolia, Texas, killing a 16-year-old working inside of it, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. At least eight people have been killed in the state since Saturday as severe weather pummeled the region over Memorial Day weekend.

The violent weather is just the latest in an unrelenting series of severe storms that has battered Texas in recent weeks, leaving residents with little time to recover from one storm before the next arrives at their doorstep.

Summerlike heat will ease across Texas this week following a sweltering heat wave, but those left without power or a reliable way to cool down could still face the risk of dangerous heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Temperatures across eastern Texas on Wednesday will hover around the mid-80s to low 90s, according to the National Weather Service.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins warned people to prepare to be without power for days as an area utility company reported extensive damage to its infrastructure. The utility, Oncor, shared photos of mangled electricity poles, twisted power lines and massive toppled trees.

Widespread outages also hampered primary runoff elections on Tuesday in Dallas County, as more than a third of polling locations were in the dark, according to Jenkins.

“Check on your friends, family, and neighbors, especially anyone elderly,” Dallas County officials advised. “Don’t move debris yet as there could be hidden downed power lines that could still be energized.”

Esmeralda Martinez, who lives in the Dallas suburb of Carrollton, is among those now sifting through homes that were reduced to piles of soggy debris and jagged wooden beams, CNN affiliate WFAA reports. She and her family sheltered in a hallway as the storm tore off the roof, damaging every room in her home and soaking their belongings.

Across the street, Javon Holloway and his grandmother are grateful their home was spared from more serious damage. The neighbors are thankful no one was harmed.

“Don’t take your house for granted. I’ll say that much. Be thankful for what you got,” Holloway told WFAA.

Storms continued moving across north and central Texas on Tuesday night and are expected to last through Wednesday morning, the National Weather Service in Fort Worth said. After a brief reprieve, another round of powerful storms will rumble back into the same area Thursday evening, bringing a threat of large hail, damaging winds and localized flooding to the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Houston faces damage déjà vu

Houston-area residents are facing an all-too-familar feeling as they survey the fresh layer of damage left by Tuesday’s storms – just two weeks after a derecho and a tornado bulldozed through the city, killing multiple people and knocking out power for nearly 1 million homes and businesses.

Though 99% of those outages had been restored as of last week, more than 300,000 homes and businesses in the Houston area lost power in Tuesday’s storms, according to the regional utility CenterPoint Energy. A majority of its customers had power restored by Wednesday morning.

The latest severe weather also thwarted some of the city’s ongoing recovery after the mid-May storm covered streets with trees and debris, shattered skyscraper windows and damaged buildings.

That damage had not yet been fully repaired when Tuesday’s storms tore through, rescattering piles of debris that crews had been collecting off the streets and sending another shower of broken window glass onto Downtown Houston, according to CNN affiliates KTRK and KHOU.

CNN’s Melissa Alonso, Andy Rose and Raja Razek contributed to this report.

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Article Topic Follows: cnn-weather/environment

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