Severe storms kill at least 4 in Houston, cause widespread power outages and risk of tornadoes

HOUSTON (AP) — Severe thunderstorms pummeled southeastern Texas on Thursday for the second time this month, killing at least four people, blowing out windows in high-rise buildings, downing trees and knocking out power to nearly 900,000 homes and businesses in the Houston area. 

Mary Benton, chief of communications and senior advisor to the mayor, confirmed the four deaths to The Associated Press in the evening. 

Flash flood and severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for multiple counties, with damaging winds and even tornadoes possible into the evening, said Houston’s National Weather Service office. 

“Take shelter now if you’re in the path of this storm. Head to the lowest floor!” the NWS office warned on the social platform X. 

Streets were flooded, and trees and power lines were down across the region. KHOU-TV showed images of shattered windows on an office building in downtown Houston, with glass littering the street below. 

City officials urged residents to stay off the roads as many were impassable and traffic lights were out. 

Flights were grounded at Houston’s two major airports because of the weather. Sustained winds topping 60 mph (96 kph) were recorded at Bush Intercontinental Airport. 

More than 870,000 customers were without electricity in and around Harris County, which contains Houston, according to The county is home to more than 4.7 million people. 

The Houston Independent School District canceled classes Friday for all its 274 campuses. 

Heavy storms slammed the region during the first week of May, leading to numerous high-water rescues, including some from the rooftops of flooded homes. 

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