New ‘Apocalyptic’ Footage Shows Severe Storm Damage in Houston

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The Conejo Malo club on May 17, 2024, one day after the National Weather Service warned of ‘severe’ thunderstorms and possible tornadoes.

New footage shared on social media showed some of the damage that Houston suffered as severe thunderstorms blew through southeast Texas on Thursday, May 16.

At least four people died as a result of the storms, Houston Mayor John Whitmire said during a Friday, May 17 press conference. Whitmire described the storms to reporters as “fierce,” “intense” and “quick,” and said they left many people in the area without the time they needed to "place themselves out of harm’s way.”

“People were scared last night,” he said. “And they had a right to be scared.”

A video montage shared on X, formerly Twitter, by Collin Rugg shared some of the “apocalyptic scenes” seen throughout the city following Thursday’s storms. In one clip, water pelted into what looked like an indoor mall as people ran for cover. Another clip showed the glass inside a store or restaurant breaking, with large shards sent flying as people yelled for others to “get away from the glass.”

One clip showed a downtown nightclub called Conejo Malo significantly damaged, with much of the building’s insides exposed as a large chunk of the exterior looked as if it had been peeled away. Additional footage showed dozens of windows in a downtown skyscraper smashed into oblivion, the result of strong winds that plagued the city’s epicenter and many surrounding suburbs.

The National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado with peak winds of 110 miles per hour touched down northwest of Houston in Cypress. Wind speeds in downtown Houston peaked at about 100 miles per hour, weather experts said.

As the city shifted into recovery mode on Friday, Whitmire warned that it could take “days if not weeks” to restore power to all customers impacted by power outages because of the storm. First responders addressed downed transmission lines on Friday while glass and other debris littered the roadways.

In response to the damage caused by the storms, Whitmire signed a local disaster declaration Friday afternoon to bolster the resources needed for the city’s response efforts.

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