Gold Coast Storm Leaves Four Dead, Over One Million Without Power In Houston


LAGOS MAY 17TH (NEWSRANGERS)-Storms battered Texas and Louisiana late Thursday and early Friday with destructive winds and torrential rain, leaving at least four dead, roads flooded and more than 1 million homes and businesses without power — as more floods Friday could plague parts of the Gulf Coast.

At least four people died as the severe weather blasted through Houston, the mayor’s spokesperson Mary Benton told CNN. Fallen trees appear to have caused two of the deaths, and a crane accident caused another, Houston Fire Department Chief Samuel Peña said in a news conference.

Violent weather left a trail of damage to buildings in Houston, blocked roadways with fallen trees and debris and mangled power lines. Public schools in and around Houston are closed Friday as more than 825,000 homes and businesses across Texas and more than 172,000 in Louisiana have no power, according to, ahead of forecast highs in Houston due to soar this weekend into the 90s.

The storm was so powerful it blew out the windows of buildings in downtown Houston, littering the area with glass as traffic lights went dark. Shoppers at a Costco in Houston used their phones as the only source of light as they huddled inside the store when the power went out, with employees closing the doors to block out the rain and winds.

Hurricane-force wind gusts also slashed storm-weary Texas and Louisiana, while drivers in Bryan, Texas, needed to be rescued after heading into water.

Soaking storms shift east on Friday, with more than 14 million people across parts of the Gulf Coast at risk of severe weather, including damaging winds, hail and possibly tornadoes. Significant swaths of Mississippi and Alabama are under the moderate, Level 3 of 4, risk of excessive rainfall on Friday, while a larger area from the Texas-Louisiana state line to Georgia and the Florida Panhandle is under a Level 2 of 4 risk.

Drenching storms will likely last into Friday morning for parts of the Gulf Coast. An initial round of flash flooding is likely in the first half of Friday before rain starts to taper off in the afternoon.

Another bout of heavy rain will develop Friday night and continue into the earliest hours of Saturday morning, working over the same areas hit earlier in the day. These storms could produce rainfall rates of 2 to 3 inches per hour and quickly restart or worsen any ongoing flooding.

Widespread rainfall totals of 2 to 6 inches are expected from Texas to Georgia through Saturday morning. A few spots caught under multiple torrential storms may pick up 8 inches or more of rain. Some areas could record close to a foot of rain in about 48 hours.

Here’s the latest on ongoing storms in the southern US:

Excessive rainfall and severe thunderstorms threaten South again: “Heavy to excessive rainfall is forecast for eastern Louisiana into central Alabama which could bring flash, urban, and riverine flooding Friday,” the National Weather Service said. “Scattered severe thunderstorms with a few tornadoes, very large hail, and damaging winds are possible across parts of the Gulf Coast States Friday and Friday night.”

Most of Houston’s traffic lights are down: Traffic lights across the city are out and debris from damaged buildings and toppled trees are covering roadways, making driving conditions dangerous. “Downtown is a mess. It’s dangerous due to the glass and the lack of traffic lights. So stay at home,” Houston Mayor John Whitmire said Thursday.

Major flooding leads to water rescues: There were up to 20 water rescues after residents in Bryan, Texas, drove into the floodwaters, police spokesperson Seth Waller said. Nearby in College Station, heavy rain Thursday flooded a park, videos shared with CNN showed. Several roads closed in northern and eastern Bosque County, Texas, due to water over crossings or bridges. Roads also reportedly flooded in Bell, McLennan and Falls counties.

Hurricane-force wind gusts reported in Texas and Louisiana: The National Weather Service in New Orleans reported wind gusts as strong as 84 mph. Wind gusts measuring 78 mph were recorded near San Jacinto River at Interstate 10 and 74 mph in Channelview in Harris County on Thursday evening, according to the National Weather Service.

Spate of storms exhausts Texas: The Lone Star State has been in the bull’s-eye of seemingly unrelenting rounds of flooding downpours. Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday requested a presidential disaster declaration for areas impacted by the onslaught of severe weather and flooding, citing “extensive damage caused by these severe storms, historic river flooding, and tornadoes” that began on April 26.

Houston area bears brunt of destructive storms

Violent storm conditions in Houston have blown out skyscraper windows, partially collapsed a nightclub and partially ripped roofing off the downtown Hyatt Regency, showering the hotel lobby with rain and debris, according to witness video. CenterPoint Energy says its skyscraper in downtown Houston has sustained damage of the storm, according to a spokesperson.

Steel power transmission towers in Houston were also mangled by the storms, CNN affiliate KPRC reported. Along part of US Route 290, traffic was stopped as firefighters cleared downed lines draped over the roadway.

The weather service had issued a severe thunderstorm warning with the highest-level “destructive” tag for Houston, urging residents to take cover immediately. There were reports of winds up to 78 mph on the east side of the city.

Houston’s mayor advised residents to stay off the roads and stay at home, as it could take up to 48 hours for power to be restored.

“The mayor and first responders are asking Houstonians to stay off the roads and avoid all unnecessary travel. Many roads are impassable due to downed power lines, debris, and fallen trees,” Whitmire’s office said in a statement Thursday evening.

The Houston Independent School District announced campuses will be closed on Friday and reopen Monday “due to widespread damage across Houston.” More than a dozen Houston-area school districts also announced they would close Friday, including Aldine Independent School District, Channelview Independent School District and Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District.


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Posted by on May 17 2024. Filed under International, National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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