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News / Nation & World

Storms damage homes in Oklahoma and Kansas. But in Houston, most power is restored

By Associated Press
Published: May 20, 2024, 8:33am
3 Photos
People walk through a Bridgeland neighborhood as families begin cleaning up storm damage, Sunday, May 19, 2024, in Cypress, Texas.
People walk through a Bridgeland neighborhood as families begin cleaning up storm damage, Sunday, May 19, 2024, in Cypress, Texas. (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP) Photo Gallery

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Fast-moving storms with strong winds, large hail and apparent tornadoes swept Oklahoma and Kansas, blowing roofs off homes and blocking roads with toppled trees and downed power lines. Meanwhile, Houston made progress in recovering from last week’s deadly storms.

Nearly 20 homes were damaged in western Oklahoma’s Custer County, with two people injured in Butler, state emergency officials said late Sunday. Damage to a nursing home was reported in the town of Hydro.

Wind gusts well over 60 mph (about 100 kph) were reported in many areas as the storms, which began Sunday afternoon and lasted through the night, moved eastward. In central Kansas, a 100 mph (160 kph) wind gust was reported at the airport in Salina, the National Weather Service said. Overturned semitrailer trucks were reported in Newton and Sedgwick counties, the office said.

“Due to the damage and debris please do not go out unless absolutely necessary!” the city of Halstead posted online.

The weather service said it received 13 tornado reports Sunday from Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado.

Schools were canceled Monday in several communities that were cleaning up. More storms were forecast for later in the day.

Houston-area residents affected by deadly storms last week received some good news as officials said power was restored Sunday to a majority of the hundreds of thousands who had been left in the dark and without air conditioning during hot and humid weather.

Thursday’s storms left at least seven dead and brought much of Houston to a standstill. Thunderstorms and hurricane-force winds tore through the city of over 2 million, reducing businesses and other structures to debris, uprooting trees and shattering glass in downtown skyscrapers.

By Sunday evening, 88% of customers in the Houston area had power restored, said Paul Lock, a spokesperson for CenterPoint Energy.

“We expect everyone to be back on by end of business Wednesday,” Lock said.

More than 225,000 homes and businesses in Texas remained without electricity Monday morning, mostly in the Houston area. More than 1,800 customers remained without power in Louisiana, which also was hit by strong winds and a suspected tornado.

The weather service said Houston-area residents should expect “sunny, hot and increasingly humid days.” Highs of about 90 degrees (32 Celsius) were expected this week, with heat indexes likely approaching 102 degrees (39 Celsius) by midweek.