Houston Power Outages Could Last Weeks After Deadly Hurricane-Force Winds (CNN)

Houston Power Outages Could Last Weeks After Deadly Hurricane-Force Winds

Friday, May 17th, 2024 Catastrophe Insurance Industry Property Risk Management

Houston, Texas, is grappling with extensive power outages that could last for weeks after a powerful storm with winds up to 100 mph struck the area on Thursday. The storm, which killed at least four people, caused significant damage to critical power infrastructure, including the downing of 10 steel power transmission towers in the state, seven of which were in Harris County.

At the storm’s peak, over 900,000 homes and businesses lost power in Houston’s Harris County, with more than 650,000 still without power by Friday afternoon. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo warned that for many residents, power restoration could take weeks. The prolonged outages come as temperatures are expected to rise into the 90s, with heat indexes potentially reaching triple digits, posing serious health risks.

The storm caused widespread damage in Houston, knocking out most of the city’s traffic lights and littering roads with debris from fallen trees and damaged buildings. Mayor John Whitmire urged residents to stay off the roads due to dangerous conditions. The storm’s force blew out windows in downtown buildings and caused significant structural damage, including to the downtown Hyatt Regency and CenterPoint Energy’s skyscraper.

In addition to power issues, the region faced major flooding, with water rescues conducted in several areas. Governor Greg Abbott has requested a presidential disaster declaration to aid recovery efforts following the extensive damage from the recent severe weather events.

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