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Severe thunderstorms pummel Texas causing widespread power outages
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Severe thunderstorms pummel Texas causing widespread power outages

Severe weather continues to pummel parts of the US, particularly Texas, which is once again experiencing widespread power outages that left nearly 650,000 buildings without electricity – with no clear end in sight.

The US Great Plains and south-east regions are experiencing an outbreak of storms that have wreaked havoc on local populations.

States as far north as Montana and as far south as Texas are still grappling with the effects of the weather that has caused damage to property, disruption of life and in some cases, cost lives.

In north Texas, residents in Dallas and surrounding areas woke up without electricity on Tuesday following severe thunderstorms with hurricane-force winds, and it has yet to come back on. Oncor, the region’s primary electric distribution company, anticipates power to be mostly restored by Friday evening or Saturday for harder-hit areas.

The company said power had already been restored for about 340,000 customers as of Wednesday.

Oncor said that damage to power lines from the storms was still being assessed. The timeline for these repairs range from between hours and days.

Storms have also hit those further south in Houston. At least one person, a 16-year-old, was killed on Tuesday in nearby Magnolia at a construction site during the severe weather.

The city also suffered power outages, but CenterPoint Energy said it had restored power to 437,518 customers and Lina Hidalgo, the Harris county judge, said 1,800 utility crews are working to help with repairs and restore power.

CenterPoint said in a notice: “We are working hard to restore power following the severe weather that impacted our Greater Houston service territory on May 28. We appreciate your patience as we work to complete repairs as safely and quickly as possible.”

Houston also suffered power outages as a result of bad weather again two weeks ago, when a derecho, or a widespread, long-lived storm with winds up to 100mph tore through the city, killing seven people.

The power outages come as temperatures are rising, putting vulnerable people in the area at risk of heat exhaustion – or worse, heatstroke.

School districts across the state have cancelled classes on Wednesday.

The National Weather Service cautions those in affected areas to “drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun and check up on relatives and neighbors.

“Do not leave young children and pets in unattended vehicles. Car interiors will reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes. Take extra precautions when outside. Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing. Try to limit strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Take action when you see symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke.”

Source: theguardian.com