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Houston: Beryl blows into Houston- Hurricane makes landfall as category one;...

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Published Time: 09.07.2024 - 01:04:08 Modified Time: 09.07.2024 - 01:04:08

As local officials assessed the damage and began recovery efforts Monday afternoon, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said power outages, flooding and roadway conditions were the most significant issues. She said CenterPoint is expected to provide restoration estimates on Tuesday, when the county also plans to open shelters for impacted residents. Houston, beryl houston, houston news


Two died due to trees falling on homes while a third died while driving to their job at Houston PD. CenterPoint has yet to announce a timeline for restoring power to 2.2 million customers.

David SmithHigh water in Buffalo Bayou after Hurricane Beryl. The view is looking from the Shepherd Drive overpass over Allen Parkway.

Beryl brought heavy rain and strong winds to the Houston area Monday morning while causing widespread power outages and at least three deaths, according to local officials.

Beryl’s rain and winds had largely left the metro area by mid-afternoon, although many bayous and roadways were flooded and more than 2.2 million homes and es in the Houston area were still without electricity, CenterPoint Energy’s online outage tracker showed. And at least two had died as a result of fallen trees.

“The rains are pretty much ending from south to north,” Eric Berger, a meteorologist with Space City Weather, said at 2 p.m. Monday. “We’re going to see pretty significant improvement in these creeks and bayous over the next several hours. … There should be considerable improvement today and into this evening.”

As local officials assessed the damage and began recovery efforts Monday afternoon, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said power outages, flooding and roadway conditions were the most significant issues. She said CenterPoint is expected to provide restoration estimates on Tuesday, when the county also plans to open shelters for impacted residents.

Patricia Ortiz/Houston Public MediaPictured is a fallen tree in Houston’s River Oaks neighborhood on Monday, July 8, 2024.

In the meantime, Hidalgo encouraged those in the Houston area to stay close to home through Monday night.

“Stay where you are unless you really need to go out,” she said Monday afternoon. “There are lots of hazards out there. There’s debris. There’s water. Sometimes you won't know until you turn that there's high water you can't back away from.”

A tree fell on a home in Humble on Monday morning, killing a 53-year-old man inside, the Harris County Sheriff's Office reported. The man was reportedly "sitting in house with family, riding out the storm. An oak tree fell on roof and hit rafters, structure fell on the male. Wife and children unharmed," Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez wrote on X.

There also was a death in northwest Houston, near the intersection of FM 1960 and Kuykendahl Road, according to Gonzalez and Harris County Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey. Gonzalez said a 74-year-old woman was killed by a tree that fell on a home.

A third death was announced Monday afternoon by Mayor Whitmire, who said a Houston PD employee who was driving to work in the morning got trapped in high water after exiting I-45.

In a late afternoon presser, Hidalgo said first responders are aiding the Fire Marshal and County Engineer’s Offices in assessing the damage from Beryl.

"Those are important for us to see if we can reach the thresholds to achieve federal support for our residents,” she said. “And also, there may be government buildings impacted. There may be roads that we really need to clear, etc."

She said the big challenge going forward is renewed heat, given the ongoing mass power outages.

"The heat, obviously, is the big problem. So, it's going to be very hot, it's going to be very humid, the heat index like what we've seen the past few weeks. So, the power continues to be the main threat."

She added that 7,000 crews are heading to the Houston area from around the country to help restore power.

“This is a major event,” Ramsey said.

RELATED: Houston Public Media Hurricane and Tropical Storm Tracker

David SmithFlooding from Hurricane Beryl on Memorial Drive from the view of Shepherd Drive on Monday, July 8, 2024.

Several roadways across the region had become flooded by 10:30 a.m., according to Gonzalez. And with stronger-than-expected winds that had caused 11 power transmission towers to fall, Hidalgo urged Houston-area residents to shelter in place until the afternoon and try to stay away from windows.

Hidalgo said Houston-area officials had performed nearly 50 high-water rescues as of 3:30 p.m.

Local TV stations broadcast a dramatic rescue of a man who had climbed to the roof of his pickup truck after it got trapped in fast-flowing waters on 288. Emergency crews used an extension ladder from a fire truck to drop him a life preserver and a tether before moving him to dry land.

"First responders are putting their lives at risk. That's what they're trained for," Houston Mayor John Whitmire said.

METRO, the public transit provider for the Houston region, announced shortly before 1 p.m. that it had suspended all of its services for the remainder of the day.

David SmithView of flooding due to Hurricane Beryl on Interstate 10 from TC Jester.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for much of the southeast Texas region as of 11 a.m. Monday, with the Houston and Beaumont metro areas also under a flash flood warning, according to the National Weather Service. A storm surge warning remained in effect along the Gulf Coast between Galveston and Matagorda Bay.

According to the Harris County Flood Warning System, much of the Houston area received at least 5 inches of rainfall Monday morning, with some areas in the southern part of the county receiving 9 inches or more.

RELATED: Houston braces for Beryl: Rain, flooding and tropical storm force winds likely

There were more than 1,000 canceled flights at both Bush Intercontinental and Hobby airports on Monday.

“As the storm approaches and plan to stay indoors and safe from the storm, we want to remind everyone that our airports are not equipped to serve as storm shelters,” according to the Houston Airport System. “We lack the supplies and staff to accommodate seeking refuge during the storm.”

Travelers should check with airlines for the latest updates and options for rebooking flights.

The St. Luke’s Health-Brazosport Hospital lost power and was damaged Monday morning, according to the health system, which said some patients were transferred to other hospitals while noting that no patients or staff were injured. The facility was operating on the power of a generator and remained opened for emergency services, the health system said.

Most other hospitals and emergency rooms around the Houston area remained open Monday, although many other clinics and medical facilities closed because of the storm. Harris Health closed its clinics and outpatient facilities, but its two hospitals, Ben Taub and LBJ, continued to operate.

Submitted photoPictured is Brays Bayou near the intersection of North MacGregor Way and Ardmore Street in south Houston on Monday, July 8, 2024.

All M.D. Anderson locations closed for patient appointments, although some urgent procedures were taking place at its Texas Medical Center campus. Kelsey-Seybold closed all of its clinics Monday.

The hospitals operated by Houston Methodist and Memorial Hermann Health System were open, although Memorial Hermann’s convenient care centers were open only for emergency services. Memorial Hermann’s other outpatient facilities, including its imaging and sports medicine locations, were closed.

President Joe Biden was getting regular updates on the storm after it made landfall, the White House said. The U.S. Coast Guard and FEMA had prepared search and rescue teams, and FEMA collected bottled water, meals, tarps and electric generators in case they are needed.

Some coastal cities called for voluntary evacuations in low-lying areas that are prone to flooding, restricted beach camping and urged tourists traveling on the Fourth of July holiday weekend to move recreational vehicles from coastal parks.

RELATED: Houston region prepares for heavy rains as Beryl approaches Texas coast

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who is acting governor while Gov. Greg Abbott is traveling in Taiwan, issued a preemptive disaster declaration for 121 counties.

Tom Perumean/Houston Public MediaA fallen tree in a downtown Houston street during Tropical Storm Beryl on Monday, July 8, 2024.

Beryl earlier this week battered Mexico as a Category 2 hurricane, toppling trees but causing no injuries or deaths before weakening to a tropical storm as it moved across the Yucatan Peninsula. The system crashed through the Caribbean before that, killing 11 .

Beryl is the 10th hurricane to hit Texas in July since 1851 and the fourth in the last 25 years, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach.


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