At Least 8 Dead and More Than 2 Million Without Electricity After Hurricane Beryl Makes Landfall in U.S.

At least eight people are dead and over two million people are still without electricity after Hurricane Beryl made its way through Louisiana and Texas on Monday, July 8

Published Time: 09.07.2024 - 17:31:14 Modified Time: 09.07.2024 - 17:31:14

At least eight people are dead and over two million people are still without electricity after Hurricane Beryl made its way through Louisiana and Texas on Monday, July 8.

Houston Mayor John Whitmire confirmed that at least three people have died as a result of the storm in a press conference, and several other county police departments in Texas have also confirmed deaths in their areas.

Whitmire noted during his press conference that a man died due to a “tree falling” down on him, which “took his life,” and another person was killed in a “fire in southeast Houston,” which they believe may have been caused by “lightning” that was “storm-related.” 

He also noted that a “civilian employee” of Houston’s Police Department had been killed while “going to work” after he got stuck in “flood conditions” on Houston Avenue and floodwaters submerged his car. The Houston Police Department identified the deceased employee as information security officer Russell Richardson, 54, and asked people to keep his family and friends in their “prayers.”

A constable in Harris County also confirmed on social media that a 74-year-old woman had died after a “tree fell through the roof” of her home.

Meanwhile, the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office in Louisiana confirmed on social media that a person “was killed after a tree fell on her house in northeast Benton.”

Montgomery County Emergency Management also confirmed to CNN that three people had died, including one man in his 40s who was struck by a fallen tree while he was in his tractor in the eastern part of the county and two others who -

“were discovered in a tent in a wooded area in Magnolia.”

Montgomery County Emergency Management did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment. 

White House Deputy Communications Director Jennifer Molina shared on X (formerly Twitter) that President Joe Biden called Whitmire and expressed his “condolences for the loss of life as a result of Hurricane Beryl.” They also noted that Biden assured Whitmire that Texans would “have the resources they need to get through the storm now and to recover going forward.”

Officials in the areas impacted by the storm also warn people to keep off roadways and stay away from downed power lines on Tuesday morning as “dangerous driving conditions still exist.” According to poweroutage.us, which tracks power outages across the country, more than 2.3 million people were without power in Texas as of 9 a.m. local time on Tuesday, July 9.

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Other states also reported power outages due to the storm, including Louisiana, with 23,000 outages, and Arkansas, with over 18,000 outages.

Beryl made landfall in the U.S. as a Category 1 hurricane before being downgraded to a tropical depression. However, a flood watch was issued for states from Arkansas to Michigan on July 9, with a possibility of up to 5 inches of rain, according to NBC News.

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