Houston: Thousands of people in the Houston area faced sweltering heat without power on Saturday following severe storms that claimed at least seven lives, according to local media and the National Weather Service.

President Joe Biden on Friday issued a major disaster declaration for seven Texas counties, making resi­dents and businesses eligible for federal assistance.

The NWS predicted temperatures around 90 deg­rees (32.2 C) and warned residents in a post on the X social media platform of the threat of heat stroke, saying “Don’t overdo yourself” as they continued cleaning up from Thursday night’s storms.

Storms packing winds of up to 100 mph (161 kph) tore through the region, damaging homes and buildings, felling power lines and leaving more than 800,000 people without electricity, according to local media.

A tornado touched down near the suburb of Cypress, shattering trees and windows and strewing debris, local media said.

As of Saturday morning, more than 500,000 people in the region still were without power, according to PowerOutage.us, a website that aggregates electricity outage data from utilities across the United States.

Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2024

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