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In Houston, some residents are bracing for weeks without electricity following storms that inflicted widespread damage and claimed the lives of at least four people

A man walks through the bricks (Via Brett Jhonson/Shutterstock)

Power outages might last for weeks in certain parts of Houston, according to an official who spoke on Friday. This comes after severe thunderstorms, packing winds as strong as those in hurricanes, swept through the city. Nearly 1 million homes and businesses lost electricity, and the storm caused significant damage like shattered windows in downtown skyscrapers and overturned vehicles.

The National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado with winds reaching 110 mph touched down near Cypress, a suburb northwest of Houston in Harris County.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the county’s top elected leader, stated that crews were still assessing the damage and trying to determine the number of casualties from Thursday’s storms. Houston Mayor John Whitmire reported that four people, possibly five, had died.

Describing the storm, Whitmire said it was fierce, intense, and quick, catching many Houston residents off guard.

Workers cleans up the broken window glass (Via Brett Jhonson/Shutterstock)

Due to multiple transmission towers being knocked down, Hidalgo advised residents to be patient. Thousands of utility workers were en route to the area, where power had been restored to around 200,000 customers. In Louisiana, 100,000 customers were still without power, down from a peak of 215,000.

“We are looking at dealing with this disaster over the course of weeks, not days,” Hidalgo emphasized.

She recounted hearing “horror stories of just terror and powerlessness” as the storm passed through. The weather service also noted straight-line winds up to 100 mph in downtown Houston, Baytown, and Galena Park.

Noelle Delgado, executive director of Houston Pets Alive, arrived at the animal rescue organization Thursday night to find more than 30 dogs and cats safe but the building damaged.

The awning had been torn off, the sign was in pieces, and water was leaking inside. With power expected to remain out for an extended period and temperatures predicted to rise into the 90s on Saturday, Delgado sought foster homes for the animals.

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