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More than 500,000 homes and businesses in Texas are without power after a series of powerful storms

CNN

By Elizabeth Wolfe, CNN

(CNN) — Hundreds of thousands of Texans are without power and many could be in the dark for days after fierce and deadly storms tore through the state Tuesday and over the holiday weekend, leaving people cleaning up destroyed homes and businesses amid uncomfortably warm weather.

According to PowerOutage.us, more than 500,000 utilities in Texas were without power as of Tuesday evening, including more than 240,000 in Dallas County alone.

Both Houston and Dallas were battered by hurricane-force winds on Tuesday as violent storms flooded roads, toppled trees and power lines and reduced some buildings to shells of their former selves. At least eight people have died in the state since Saturday as severe weather hit the region over the Memorial Day weekend.

The violent weather is just the latest in an unrelenting series of severe storms to batter Texas in recent weeks, leaving residents little time to recover from one storm before the next arrives.

The summer-like heat will ease across Texas this week after a sweltering heat wave, but those left without power or a reliable way to cool off could still be at risk of dangerous heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Temperatures in east Texas will hover around the mid-80s to low 90s on Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins warned people to prepare for days without power as an area utility reported major infrastructure damage. The utility company Oncor shared photos of mangled utility poles, twisted power lines and massive fallen trees.

Widespread outages also hampered the Dallas County primary on Tuesday, as more than a third of polling places were in limbo, according to Jenkins.

“Check on your friends, family and neighbors, especially the elderly,” Dallas County officials advised. “Do not move debris yet as there may be hidden downed power lines that are still live.”

Esmeralda Martinez, who lives in the Dallas suburb of Carrollton, is among those now searching homes reduced to piles of sodden rubble and jagged wooden beams, CNN affiliate WFAA reports. She and her family took shelter in a hallway when the storm ripped off the roof, damaging every room in her home and soaking their belongings.

Across the street, Javon Holloway and his grandmother are grateful their home was spared from more serious damage. Neighbors are grateful no one was injured.

“Don’t take your home for granted. I will say this much. Be grateful for what you have,” Holloway told WFAA.

Houston is experiencing déjà vu

Houston residents are facing an all-too-familiar feeling as they survey the new layer of damage left behind by Tuesday’s storms — just two weeks after a derecho and tornado tore through the city, killing several people and the power went out for almost 1 year. million homes and businesses.

Although 99% of these outages were restored by last week, more than 300,000 homes and businesses have the Houston area lost power during Tuesday’s storms, according to regional utility CenterPoint Energy. As of 7:30 PM on Tuesday, 120,000 customers were still in the dark there.

The latest severe weather has also thwarted some of the city’s ongoing recovery, after the mid-May storm left streets covered with trees and debris, shattered skyscraper windows and damaged buildings.

That damage had not yet been fully repaired when Tuesday’s storms broke through, re-dispersing piles of debris that crews had collected from the streets and sending a new shower of broken window glass into downtown Houston, according to CNN affiliates KTRK and KHOU.

CNN’s Andy Rose and Raja Razek contributed to this report.

The CNN Wire
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