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Texas: Thousands without power after storms

May 28, 2024

By Elizabeth Wolfe and Mary Gilbert, CNN

(CNN) — Powerful storms are delivering yet another round of violent weather to Texas on Tuesday after an almost unrelenting parade of destructive and sometimes deadly storms in recent weeks. Additional storms will pound more of the Southern Plains throughout the day.

Storms were roaring through the Dallas-Fort Worth metro early Tuesday morning, delivering hurricane-force wind gusts and stirring tornado fears. Dallas Fort Worth International Airport recorded a wind gust of 77 mph early Tuesday as power outages in the region started to skyrocket.

More than 750,000 customers in Texas were without power and that number continued to climb, according to More than half of the outages were in Dallas County.

READ: White House announcing action to modernize electric grid and pave the way for fewer outages

These storms have arrived even as some residents are still mourning at least seven people killedin the state during violent storms over Memorial Day weekend. In total, almost two dozen people, including four children, were killed across five states as storms hit the central US over the holiday period, and several communities are grappling with significant losses of homes and businesses.

More than 13 million people in Texas and extreme western Louisiana face Tuesday’s most serious threat of severe weather. Damaging storms will push south and east through the morning and into the early afternoon hours and could eventually roll through Houston.

Large hail, lightning and wind gusts as strong as 80 mph are the main threats with any storm. A few tornadoes may also occur, according to the National Weather Service.

Some of the same areas rocked by storms early Tuesday could deal with more storms Tuesday night as another round fires up late in the afternoon in western Texas and Oklahoma and tracks east.

Back-to-back deluges could make it difficult for some communities still trying to pick up the pieces after an exceptional number of tornadoes and destructive storms have torn through the central US in recent weeks.

Sunday was the busiest severe weather day of the year so far, with more than 600 reports of strong winds or hail across more than 20 states, including gusts over 75 mph and hail the size of softballs. Twenty-six tornado reports also were made in 10 states. Storms turned homes and businesses into piles of rubble, flung cars and brought down power lines.

Some Texans also face sweltering heat

Sweltering heat will accompany the storms across portions of Texas – part of a sprawling heat wave that has been baking the South in recent days.

Heat indices rocketed into the triple digits in Texas, Louisiana and Florida.

Those heat indices, which measure how the body actually feels under humidity and air temperature, are expected to start falling back into the 90s by Wednesday across most of the South, but some Texans will have to face brutal heat for a bit longer.

Heat advisories are in place Tuesday across western Texas’s Brewster County and the Davis Mountains and their foothills. Temperatures could reach as high as 110 degrees in the area, according to the National Weather Service.

Extreme heat is the most deadly form of natural disaster in the US, beating out tornadoes and flooding. Skyrocketing temperatures can cause spikes in emergency room visits for heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

Heat waves like the one enveloping the South this week are becoming increasingly common, intense and long-lasting as the planet warms due to human-driven climate change. They are also becoming harder to endure as temperatures warm faster overnight – not cooling down enough to offer our bodies some relief.

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