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Houston, Texas Power Outage Updates After Beryl

Houston, Texas Power Outage Updates After Beryl

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  • More than 2.7 million power outages were reported at the height of the storm’s impacts.
  • Most of the outages affected CenterPoint Energy customers in and around Houston.
  • Hurricane Beryl made landfall in Texas on Monday.

Frustration grew in Houston and other parts of Texas on Wednesday as millions of residents faced widespread power outages in sweltering summer heat, two days after the region was hit by Beryl.

Those affected have done their best to cope with the situation, with many taking refuge in public spaces or cooling centers in Houston.

“During the day you can have the doors open, but at night you have to barricade yourself and lock yourself, lock yourself in like a sauna,” Kyuta Allen, who was at one of the centers on Tuesday, told The Associated Press.

Concerns were also high for older people, particularly those living in retirement homes and similar facilities.

“I try to be understanding because I know there are a million other people who feel the same way,” Ian Wu, owner of an assisted living facility in suburban Spring, Texas, told KTRK-TV.

“Right now we are trying to keep our generators running to power essential appliances like the kitchen and oxygen tanks.”

(MORE: ​Heat and power outages: a deadly combination)

According to PowerOutage.us, more than 1.5 million homes, businesses and other utility customers were still without power in Texas as of Wednesday night. Each outage can affect multiple people on a single account.

Most of the outages affected customers of CenterPoint Energy, the region’s largest electric company.

“I know it’s hot out there and I know they’re frustrated and we’re doing our best to get them back up and running as quickly and as safely as possible,” CenterPoint spokeswoman Michelle Hundley told The Weather Channel.

More than 2.7 million power outages were reported in Texas at the height of the storm’s impacts Monday.

Traffic is directed around a downed power line in Houston, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. After Hurricane Beryl struck Texas, knocking out power to nearly 3 million homes and businesses, it moved eastward and weakened to a tropical depression. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)Traffic is directed around a downed power line in Houston, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. After Hurricane Beryl struck Texas, knocking out power to nearly 3 million homes and businesses, it moved eastward and weakened to a tropical depression. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Traffic is directed around a downed power line in Houston, Tuesday, July 9, 2024.

(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The weather doesn’t help

While it’s not exceptionally hot, the combination of a sweltering Texas summer and widespread power outages has prompted a heat advisory from the National Weather Service.

“Overall, most inland areas will reach a high of 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, which is typical for mid-July. A few areas near the Gulf Coast could reach 80 degrees Fahrenheit,” said Jonathan Erdman, senior meteorologist at weather.com. “Early morning lows will only dip to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, especially near the Gulf Coast, which won’t provide much relief overnight.”

This includes triple-digit temperatures in Houston and up to 106 degrees in other parts of East Texas.

(MORE: Latest predictions for Beryl’s remains)

Beryl made landfall early Monday morning on the Gulf Coast, about 80 miles (130 kilometers) southwest of Houston. The storm then moved northeast through communities along the coast and across the Houston metropolitan area.

Houston resident Ashley Doyle and her children, Kaysen and Jayce, spend time at Gallery Furniture, which is serving as a temporary shelter, to cool off and have a meal, Tuesday, July 9, 2024, in Houston. The effects of Hurricane Beryl left most of the area without power. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)Houston resident Ashley Doyle and her children, Kaysen and Jayce, spend time at Gallery Furniture, which is serving as a temporary shelter, to cool off and have a meal, Tuesday, July 9, 2024, in Houston. The effects of Hurricane Beryl left most of the area without power. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Houston resident Ashley Doyle and her children, Kaysen and Jayce, spend time at Gallery Furniture, which is serving as a temporary shelter, to cool off and have a meal, Tuesday, July 9, 2024, in Houston. The effects of Hurricane Beryl left most people in the area without power.

(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

For some, electricity could be cut off for days

C​enterPoint said workers were moving as quickly as possible to restore power to those still without it.

“We walked approximately 4,500 miles of our electrical circuits and used helicopter and drone surveillance to further inspect the damage throughout our service territory, and particularly in some of the hardest-hit areas, including Baytown, Bellaire, Brazoria, Galveston and South Houston,” the company said in a Facebook post Tuesday evening.

(MORE: Beryl’s Damage, in Photos)

A report published Wednesday morning indicated that teams had made progress overnight.

However, the company’s online outage tracking page includes this note: “Please be prepared for restoration efforts to take several days.”

Some residents have circulated an app from the fast-food chain Whataburger that shows which restaurants are open and which are closed, as a possible way to assess where power is still out.

People fill up gas cans the day after Hurricane Beryl made landfall near Freeport, Texas, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)People fill up gas cans the day after Hurricane Beryl made landfall near Freeport, Texas, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

People fill up gas cans the day after Hurricane Beryl passed nearby, Tuesday, July 9, 2024, in Freeport, Texas.

(Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

After the storm, it can be even more deadly

At least seven deaths in Texas and one in Louisiana have been attributed to Beryl. All of these events occurred during the storm.

But what happens after a storm can be even more dangerous.

(MORE: How to Protect Your Family From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning During a Power Outage)

Dozens of people have died in recent years from power outages caused by storms. Causes range from overheating to medical conditions requiring electricity to carbon monoxide poisoning from operating portable generators.

Older adults are particularly at risk. At least a dozen residents of nursing homes and senior apartments in Louisiana died as a result of Hurricane Ida in 2021.

Weather.com Reporter Jan Childs covers the latest news and features related to weather, space, climate change, the environment and everything in between.