Beryl leaves millions without power and air conditioning as dangerous heat takes aim at Texas

Eric Gay

"Dangerous heat" is set to impact southeast Texas on Tuesday after Beryl has left over 2 million utility customers in the region without power, according to the National Weather Service.

A large chunk of the Texas coast, where Beryl made landfall Monday morning as a Category 1 hurricane, was under heat advisories Tuesday, including cities like Houston and Corpus Christi.

High temperatures coupled with no access to air conditioning could cause heat-related illnesses for some, the weather service field office in Houston said.

"With power out across much of Southeast Texas in the wake of Beryl, no air conditioning could make for dangerous conditions as temperatures warm into the lower 90s," the service warned, adding that heat index values up to 106 degrees are possible. The heat index value is what the temperature feels like to the human body when mixed with humidity.

The service encouraged residents to stay hydrated and limit outdoor activities, which includes cleaning up damage left behind by Beryl.

As of 11 a.m. E.T. Tuesday, 2.25 million utility customers in Texas are without power, according to Poweroutage.US. Crews from CenterPoint Energy were out working to restore power to areas impacted by Beryl Tuesday, the utility company said on X. About 2.07 utility customers are still without power as of 4 p.m. E.T.

In an update Monday, Acting Governor Dan Patrick said the power restoration effort will be a multi-day event, and that areas where vulnerable communities live, including senior citizen centers, will be prioritized.

"We'll need a little bit of patience, and we'll get there," Patrick said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's Region 6 office located in Denton encouraged those without power "to take necessary measures to stay as cool as possible as temperatures rise."

Cities across the coast, including Houston, Galveston, La Porte, and Corpus Christi, have opened cooling centers to help residents escape the heat.

Houston resident Tracy Timmons is seeking refuge at the Lakewood Church, which is serving as one of the city's cooling centers. She lost power in her home before Beryl made landfall in Texas.

"It feels like an oven … even with the windows open," Timmons said of her home.

Timmons has diabetes, a condition that requires her to eat every couple of hours, which is proving to be a challenge because the power outage has made all the food in her refrigerator go bad.

“It can be life or death for me,” Timmons said, adding that she was disappointed in CenterPoint Energy for not having crews dispatched to the area earlier.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has activated a team to help those impacted by Beryl, according to a post on X.

"DPS will continue to deploy resources where needed to ensure Texans are taken care of following the storm," the post read.

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