Storm Beryl killed seven people and knocked out power to millions

video title, Hurricane Beryl: Watch fire engine rescue man from floodwaters in Texas

  • author, Kathryn Armstrong and Brandon Drennan
  • stock, BBC News

At least seven people have died as Hurricane Beryl battered southeastern Texas and Louisiana, leaving nearly three million people without power.

Beryl struck the southern United States as a hurricane on Monday morning, but was downgraded to a tropical depression.

Officials warned of damaging winds, up to 15in (38cm) of rain and “life-threatening” storm surges.

More than 1,100 flights were canceled at Houston’s main airport on Monday, according to Flightaware.com.

About 2.6 million customers were without power in Texas as of Monday night, poweroutage.us said, and some outages were also reported in Louisiana.

The storm caused at least 10 deaths in the Caribbean.

Authorities said seven people died in Texas’ Harris and Montgomery counties, while one more death was confirmed in neighboring Louisiana.

A 53-year-old man was killed when overhead power lines fell on his Harris County home and fell on a tree, causing his roof to collapse.

In the same county that includes parts of Houston, 73-year-old grandmother Maria Loredo died after a tree crashed through the roof of her home, CBS affiliate KHOU reported.

Loredo’s family told the news station that he was at home with his son, his wife and two grandchildren, ages two and seven, when the tree fell. No other family members were injured.

In Harris County, Houston Police Department employee Russell Richardson, 54, drowned after trying to drive through high water on his way to work, according to Houston police.

Another person has died in a house fire believed to have been caused by lightning, Houston’s mayor said.

Three people were also killed in Montgomery County. Authorities say one person died when a tree fell on them while driving a plow, and two homeless people died when a tree fell on their tent, KHOU reported.

Houston is a low-lying coastal city that is prone to flooding.

Sustained wind speeds reached 75 mph (120 km/h) in the Houston area, with gusts reaching 87 mph as the storm hit.

Beryl was expected to gradually lose strength as it tracked north-northeast, but flash floods and heavy rain remained a risk.

In Louisiana, more than 30,000 people were without power due to Monday night’s storm, and one person died after a tree fell in the town of Benton, according to the local sheriff.

image source, Good pictures

image caption, Hurricane Beryl’s strong winds toppled a tree in Houston, Texas.

The National Weather Service (NWS) warned that Beryl could develop into a tornado Monday night in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.

On Tuesday, the risk of twisters will shift to Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, forecasters said.

The ports of Corpus Christi, Houston, Galveston, Freeport and Texas City were all closed.

More than 2,500 emergency responders are ready to deal with the aftermath of Beryl, including members of the Texas National Guard.

Beryl was expected to move eastward across the central US states, including Mississippi, later in the week.

Central and West Texas were predicted to avoid areas currently experiencing moderate to severe drought.

image source, International Organization for Migration/Reuters

image caption, Hurricane Beryl devastated places in the Caribbean including Union Island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

At one point, Beryl became the first category five hurricane ever recorded.

In the Caribbean it hit St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Marieau and Union and Grenada hard.

The storm was one of the most powerful to hit Jamaica.

Beryl brought heavy rain to the tourist areas of Cancun and Tulum in southern Mexico.

Although it is difficult to attribute specific storms to climate change, the causes are complex, with exceptionally high sea surface temperatures thought to be a major reason why Hurricane Beryl is so powerful.

This is the first hurricane of the 2024 Atlantic season, but the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has warned that the North Atlantic could get seven major hurricanes this year – an average of three hurricanes a season.

video title, Are hurricanes getting worse in the US?
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