Hurricane Beryl power outages: 1M+ in Houston area in the dark as heat index reaches 105

Frustration is mounting in the Houston area where more than 1 million customers are still without power after Hurricane Beryl made landfall on the Texas coast.

Hurricane Beryl is being blamed for nine deaths in Texas and one in Louisiana.

CenterPoint Energy, which services the area, says it has now restored power to roughly 1 million people affected by the storm. However, the lack of power in the heat is causing problems for those still not restored.

With so many people without power, temperatures are rising. 

A Heat Advisory is in place for much of south central and southeast Texas Wednesday with the heat index expected to climb near 105 degrees.

The Houston Fire Department says it's seeing an uptick in carbon monoxide calls as people try to cool down by running generators.

New video shows the extent of the damage to power lines in places like Galveston. But frustrations are mounting for residents without power since Sunday who are left to deal with sweltering heat.

"I had to sleep downstairs with the door open," said Galveston resident Colton Speer. "I had the dog out on the porch. We've been just taking her upstairs to the bath and taking the shower hose and cooling her off with that. And once she kind of evaporates off, do it again. Try and keep her cool that way." 

At a news conference Wednesday in hard-hit Matagorda County where Beryl made landfall, state officials stressed power is the priority.

"At this time when you don't have power, when it's pitch black at night, when it's as hot as Hades during the day, you don't have access to food you normally have. It's a miserable situation," admitted Acting Gov. Dan Patrick.

CenterPoint Energy, which is in charge of many of the lines in the Houston area, said Wednesday that it's restored power to around 40% of customers affected by Beryl. But the company notes some parts of its system will have to be rebuilt.

The company brought in 12,000 linemen to Texas from as far as Ohio and West Virginia to help restore power.

"We take our responsibility of serving our customers and working as safely and as quickly as possible to restore service very seriously," said Lynnae Wilson with CenterPoint. "At the same time, we fully understand our customers are hot and growing more impatient with their outages."  

CenterPoint Energy says they have walked approximately 4,500 miles of electric circuits and flown drones and helicopters to survey the damage.

Still, Acting Gov. Patrick has called for a review of CenterPoint's preparations for Hurricane Beryl.

During an afternoon news conference on Tuesday, Patrick fielded several questions about the outages and CenterPoint's lack of information about when power will be restored.

"CenterPoint will have to answer for themselves if they were prepared and positioned," he said. "Any thought that people were surprised that the storm might come to Houston is shocking to me."


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CenterPoint says it will complete its damage assessment in the coming days and will provide more detailed information about when it expects power to be restored.

"I cannot give you a timeline, but it's not going to be tomorrow. Look, we live here, and we work here, and employees don't have power. It's miserable. No one wants to sleep in a house that’s 85 degrees," said Paul Locke with CenterPoint Energy.

As a Band-Aid, cooling centers remain open across the area, and there are long lines at area gas stations as people seek to top off generators.

Food pantries are also doing what they can to meet the needs.