Death toll grows to 8 in severe Houston-area storms

An eighth person has died in the Houston area following severe weather that lashed the city and surrounding Harris County with 100 mph winds, officials said Monday, and more than 192,000 customers remained without power.

The eighth person died in Houston as the result of carbon monoxide poisoning, Houston Fire Department spokesperson Martee Black said.

Fire Chief Samuel Peña on social media Monday called carbon monoxide a silent killer that follows storms, and he warned people to use power generators safely.

The fire department has responded to around 80 carbon monoxide incidents since Thursday’s storms, which tore down trees and power lines and smashed windows in downtown Houston, Peña said, including one call in which four children were hospitalized by the gas given off by a generator.

Five people have died in Houston and three in unincorporated Harris County, where Houston sits, officials said.

Harris County Precinct 4, on the western side of the county, was one of the areas hardest hit by Thursday’s storm, Precinct Commissioner Lesley Briones said. Hundreds of workers have been toiling to clear roads of debris, but much remains to be done, she said.

“The truth is it will take many more days,” she said at a news conference Monday at the opening of a distribution center that, once power is restored, will also serve as a cooling center.

It is hot and humid in the Houston area, with highs near or above 90 degrees forecast for Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

CenterPoint Energy said Monday that more than 192,000 customers were still without power, although that is an improvement from the over 922,000 customers that lost power at the peak of the outage.

The city of Houston has opened cooling centers and told residents to call 311 if they need rides to them. Ice and water distribution centers were also set up after the storm and the extended outages.

“Heat index values will be approaching/exceeding 100 degrees throughout the week, so make sure you take the necessary precautions to stay safe," the weather service for Houston said Monday on X.

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