United States

Fast-Moving Storms Cause Extensive Damage In Oklahoma And Kansas

Fast-moving storms with strong winds, large hail, and apparent tornadoes caused extensive damage in Oklahoma and Kansas, damaging nearly 20 homes in Custer County, Oklahoma, and injuring two people.

File photo Photo: AP

Powerful storms swept through Oklahoma and Kansas, bringing strong winds, large hail, and apparent tornadoes. These fast-moving storms caused significant damage, blowing roofs off homes and blocking roads with fallen trees and downed power lines. Meanwhile, Houston made progress in recovering from last week’s deadly storms.

In western Oklahoma’s Custer County, nearly 20 homes were damaged. State emergency officials reported two people injured in Butler and damage to a nursing home in Hydro.

Wind gusts exceeding 60 mph (about 100 kph) were common as the storms moved eastward from Sunday afternoon through the night. In central Kansas, a wind gust of 100 mph (160 kph) was recorded at the Salina airport, according to the National Weather Service. Overturned semitrailer trucks were reported in Newton and Sedgwick counties.

“Due to the damage and debris, please do not go out unless absolutely necessary!” the city of Halstead warned residents online.

The weather service received 13 tornado reports on Sunday from Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado.

Several communities canceled schools on Monday to focus on cleanup efforts. More storms were expected later in the day.

Houston’s Recovery Efforts Continue

In Houston, residents affected by last week’s deadly storms received some relief as officials announced that power had been restored to most of the hundreds of thousands who had been left without electricity and air conditioning during hot and humid weather.

Last Thursday’s storms resulted in at least seven deaths and brought much of Houston to a standstill. The thunderstorms and hurricane-force winds reduced buildings to debris, uprooted trees, and shattered glass in downtown skyscrapers.

By Sunday evening, 88% of customers in the Houston area had power restored, according to Paul Lock, a spokesperson for CenterPoint Energy.

“We expect everyone to be back on by end of business Wednesday,” Lock said.

Despite this progress, more than 225,000 homes and businesses in Texas were still without electricity on Monday morning, mostly in the Houston area. Additionally, over 1,800 customers remained without power in Louisiana, which also experienced strong winds and a suspected tornado.

The weather service forecasted "sunny, hot, and increasingly humid days" for the Houston area, with temperatures expected to reach about 90 degrees (32 Celsius) this week and heat indexes likely approaching 102 degrees (39 Celsius) by midweek.