Beryl leaves swath of Texas without power

Dangerous heat sets in as hurricane departs

- Thao Nguyen and Christophe­r Cann USA TODAY Contributi­ng: Doyle Rice, Minnah Arshad, USA TODAY; Reuters

In the wake of Hurricane Beryl, millions of Texans woke up on Tuesday without power as high temperatur­es and humidity blanketed much of the state’s southeast, triggering weather advisories as the deadly storm pushes farther inland, bringing heavy rain and winding up the central U.S.

Beryl, which was the season’s earliest Category 5 hurricane on record, had weakened to a tropical storm after it made landfall on the Texas coast early Monday as a Category 1 storm – turning streets into rivers, trapping people in their cars and knocking out power to more than 2 million homes and business. The storm has been linked to at least eight deaths in Texas and Louisiana.

In a statement on X, formerly Twitter, CenterPoin­t Energy said it expects to restore power to 1 million customers by Wednesday night. The company, which provides service in Houston and surroundin­g areas, said nearly 12,000 field resources were assisting in the response. “While we tracked the projected path, intensity and timing for Hurricane Beryl closely for many days, this storm proved the unpredicta­bility of hurricanes as it delivered a powerful blow across our service territory and impacted a lot of lives,” said Lynnae Wilson, senior vice president of CenterPoin­t Energy.

Weather officials issued a heat advisory until 7 a.m. Wednesday across much of southeast Texas, from the Gulf Coast up though Houston and Montgomery County. As heat index values, also called “feels like temperatur­es” were inching toward 105 degrees on Tuesday, authoritie­s urged residents to find places with working air conditioni­ng, drink plenty of water and to check in on neighbors, friends and relatives.

“While this would normally be below criteria for a Heat Advisory, the widespread loss of power and air conditioni­ng across (southeast Texas) could make for dangerous conditions through the day,” the weather service in Houston and Galveston said. “This will be especially true for those still cleaning up outside who may not have a chance to properly cool off.”

Beryl is expected to weaken as it moves farther inland, though it will remain potent enough to drop several inches of rain on multiple states and spin up tornadoes as it heads toward the Northeast, according to the National Hurricane Center. On Tuesday, over 21 million people from Arkansas to Michigan were under flood watches, the National Weather Service said.

On Wednesday, the storm is forecast to bring its “prolific heavy rain” and tornado threats to the lower Great Lakes and northeast regions, including Upstate New York, northern Pennsylvan­ia and parts of Vermont. Torrential downpours are forecast to develop along the mid-Atlantic coast before expanding into New England, according to AccuWeathe­r.

Lingering moisture across the Northeast, even after Beryl dissipates, will continue to fuel storms from Thursday to Friday and possibly Saturday, AccuWeathe­r said, adding that it’s possible that parts of the East could receive half a foot of rain.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick warned that while Beryl has moved out of the state, dangerous flooding could last for several days. “We’re not past any flooding, we’re not past any difficult conditions,” he said a news conference Monday. More than 2,500 first responders were deployed statewide, according to Nim Kidd, chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management.

President Joe Biden pledged federal resources, according to a statement late Monday. His administra­tion “will make sure Texans have the resources they need to get through the storm now and to recover moving forward,” he told Houston Mayor John Whitmire. The U.S. Coast Guard as well as Federal Emergency Management Agency stand poised to support recovery efforts, Biden said.

The deadly storm swept through Jamaica, Grenada, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines last week. At least 11 people were killed in Mexico and the Caribbean before Beryl reached Texas.

A 53-year-old man and a 74-year-old woman were killed in two incidents in Texas after trees fell on their homes on Monday, according to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.

In northwest Louisiana, a woman died after a tree fell on her home, according to a statement from the sheriff ’s office in Bossier Parish.

In southeast Houston, Whitmire said a Houston Police Department civilian employee drowned in rising flood waters while driving to work, and a man died in a fire believed to have been started by lightning as Beryl bore down on the city. In Montgomery County, north of Houston, a man on a tractor was killed after a tree fell and struck him, according to Montgomery County Emergency Management, and two people were found dead in a tent in a wooded area. “Further details regarding these fatalities are currently unavailabl­e,” the county’s emergency management said in a statement.

 ?? DANIEL BECERRIL/REUTERS ?? Hurricane Beryl damaged the roof of a gas station in Edna, Texas. The storm has been linked to at least eight deaths in Texas and Louisiana.
DANIEL BECERRIL/REUTERS Hurricane Beryl damaged the roof of a gas station in Edna, Texas. The storm has been linked to at least eight deaths in Texas and Louisiana.

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