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After Hurricane Beryl, at least 7 are dead and more than 2M have no power


At least six people have died in Texas and one in Louisiana from Hurricane Beryl, as a huge clean-up and restoration operation gets underway to reconnect 2.1 million energy customers who lost power during the storm’s disastrous procession through the region.

A 53-year-old man and a 74-year-old woman both died when trees fell onto their homes in separate incidents in Harris County, Texas, police said.

Montgomery County Emergency Management confirmed the deaths of three people: a man in his 40s who was struck by a tree while operating a tractor, and two people whose bodies were found in a tent in a wooded area in Magnolia.

Houston Police Department confirmed Monday that information security officer Russell Richardson, 54, “was caught in rising flood waters and tragically lost his life.”

In Bossier Parish, Louisiana, northeast of Shreveport, Sheriff Julian Whittington said in a statement on Facebook that a woman was killed when a tree fell on her house.

Acting Gov. Dan Patrick said Tuesday he requested, and was granted, a federal emergency disaster declaration through FEMA after speaking with President Joe Biden to aid in the state’s recovery process. 

Beryl has since been downgraded to a tropical depression, but more than 25 million people from Arkansas to Michigan were under flood watches Tuesday morning as it moved northeast.

Up to 5 inches of rain and thunderstorms are possible in the storm’s path, the National Weather Service said, and some thunderstorms will be severe and could produce tornadoes.

There were 110 tornado warnings on Monday — the most on record for any July day — including 67 in Shreveport, Louisiana.

At least six people died in Texas after the storm made landfall Monday as a Category 1 hurricane with sustained wind speeds of 80 mph.

Sarah Glass and her husband were in their living room as the storm passed over when the lights went out. He went to check the generator and she went to find flashlights and candles. Moments later an enormous tree smashed into their home in Wharton, Texas, 60 miles southwest of Houston.

“And as I came into the kitchen, [there was a] big crash and the ceiling had fallen in,” she told NBC News. “We were in the living room and we moved away — that’s where all that spiked wood came down from the ceiling, so we probably would have been killed.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, over 2.1 million customers were without power, according to PowerOutage.us, including 1.7 million customers of CenterPoint Energy, the main supplier for the Houston area.

The company said it had restored more than 1 million connections in the past 24 hours and said it would get another million reconnected by the end of Wednesday, but its crews are battling high waters to reach some areas after more than a foot of rain fell in the last 24 hours.

Fallen trees and strong winds have downed power lines across the Greater Houston area, with the impact worse than expected due to the storm’s slightly altered course, the company said.

“We haven’t really slept,” said Eva Costancio as she gazed at a large tree that had fallen across electric lines in her neighborhood in the Houston suburb of Rosenberg. Costancio told The Associated Press she had already been without power for several hours and worried that food in her refrigerator would be spoiled.

“We are struggling to have food and losing that food would be difficult,” she said.

Houston opened cooling centers Tuesday amid a heat advisory that forecast a heat index as high as 105 degrees for parts of Southeast Texas. The National Weather Service office of Houston warned that widespread loss of power and air conditioning posed dangerous conditions for locals. 

Galveston Mayor Craig Brown said Tuesday that there were no fatalities or serious injuries due to Beryl, but there was extensive structural damage.

Social media users posted footage Monday of torrential rain in Houston; severe thunderstorms in St. Louis, Missouri; and flooding in Bryant, Arkansas.

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