Hurricane Beryl Devastates Texas: Four Dead, Millions Without Power

4403
NetNewsLedger News Splash

At least four people have died after Hurricane Beryl ripped through Texas late on Monday, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. The storm, which initially made landfall near Matagorda, brought with it 80mph (128km/h) winds and torrential rains, leading to widespread power outages and significant damage.

Tragic Losses and Heroic Efforts

Among the fatalities was Russell Richardson, a 54-year-old information security officer, who tragically died when his vehicle was flooded while he was driving to work in Houston, according to local police. In Benton, Louisiana, two people were killed when trees fell on their homes. Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington confirmed one of the victims was a woman. Reports suggest up to six people may have been killed by fallen trees or by drowning across the affected areas.

Structural Damage and Power Outages

Beryl’s ferocious winds blew off roofs, as evidenced by pictures of damaged homes. The hurricane, which was reclassified as a tropical storm on Monday, knocked out 10 long-distance transmission lines and toppled hundreds of trees. This left more than 2.4 million homes and businesses without power, primarily in the Houston area. CenterPoint Energy, Houston’s main electricity provider, reported that nearly two million of their customers were affected. The company aims to restore power to half of those affected by Thursday.

Ongoing Relief Efforts

Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick announced that thousands of additional workers were being brought in to help restore power, with priority given to nursing homes and assisted living centers. “We’re not past any difficult conditions,” Patrick stated, warning of a “multiple-day process to get power restored.”

Houston Bears the Brunt

Houston, the fourth-largest city in the United States, experienced significant damage from Beryl’s rains and high winds. Emergency crews conducted at least 25 water rescues, including a dramatic save of a man who had climbed to the roof of his pickup truck after it became trapped in fast-flowing waters. Using an extension ladder from a fire truck, emergency responders provided the man with a life jacket and rope, pulling him to safety.

Houston Mayor John Whitmire praised the first responders, saying, “First responders are putting their lives at risk. That’s what they’re trained for. It’s working.”

Continuing Threat

As Beryl moves inland, damaging winds and flash flooding are expected to continue, according to forecasters. Residents are urged to stay vigilant and heed local warnings and advisories.

Conclusion

Hurricane Beryl has left a significant impact on Texas, with lives lost, millions without power, and communities facing a long recovery process. Authorities continue to work tirelessly to restore services and ensure the safety of all residents.

Previous articleHeat Warning in Effect for Vancouver
Next articleOntario Boosts Economic Growth in Kenora Region with $7.4 Million Investment