Storms in Texas: power outages expected for several days

Video caption, Tree falls on house after storm devastation in Texas

  • Author, James FitzGerald
  • Role, BBC News

Authorities have warned that power outages could last several days in Texas, where hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses remain disconnected from the power grid after severe weather.

A teenager died Tuesday at a construction site when a partially built home collapsed during a storm.

Texas was one of the first states to be hit by deadly storms and tornadoes over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, during which at least 24 people died.

Hail, wind damage and flash flooding remain possible in the region Thursday morning, as well as in Kansas and eastern Colorado, forecasters said.

At the same time, “abnormal heat” continues to affect the southern part of the state as well as South Florida, according to an update Wednesday morning from the National Weather Service (NWS). Temperatures are also expected to rise in the Southwest and parts of California.

During the Texas storms, a disaster declaration was made for Dallas County. Streets were flooded, trees and power lines were downed in the city of Dallas. The Dallas Department of Transportation reported more than 300 traffic signals were out of service Tuesday.

Weather-related fires torched homes and a historic church in or near the city, and widespread travel disruptions were reported, including hundreds of flight cancellations at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport .

Image source, Getty Images

Local authorities have warned that restoring power could take time.

“This is unfortunately going to be a multi-day power outage situation,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said Tuesday.

Oncor, the local power company, estimates that restoration will be complete by Friday evening and that power will be restored to the hardest-hit areas on Saturday.

The power company said it restored power to more than 340,000 customers in less than 24 hours and deployed additional staff to man the outlets.

About 300,000 customers in Texas alone were without power Wednesday evening, according to the monitoring site — after a previous peak of more than 1 million.

The death of a 16-year-old boy was announced Tuesday evening by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office after a house under construction collapsed during a storm.

Most of the workers on site were able to flee safely when they noticed the structure starting to move – except for the teenager.

Authorities say strong winds caused the building to collapse. When help arrived, a secondary collapse occurred and delayed search efforts for the trapped 16-year-old.

Texas has already endured a devastating weekend of storms that killed several people in the state, injured more than 100 people and damaged or destroyed many homes.

There were other storm-related deaths in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Alabama and Kentucky. In the latter state, there was a story of a man whose family home was flattened by tornadoes for the second time in three years.

“This time everything we have is gone,” Devin Johnson told ABC News.

The continued harsh weather conditions in parts of the United States come as forecasters warn of a potentially “extraordinary” 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, which begins next month.

Record sea surface temperatures are partly to blame, as is a likely change in regional weather patterns.

Although there is no evidence that climate change is producing more hurricanes, it is making the strongest ones more likely and leading to the heaviest rainfall.

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