Houston-area tornado leaves thousands without power Wednesday

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More than 21,600 people did not have electricity as of 10:37 a.m. Wednesday morning, according to Centerpoint Energy’s outage tracker. More than 218,000 customers had been affected by outages in the last 24 hours.

Outages are concentrated in and around the southeastern Houston area, where Tuesday’s tornado caused the most damage, CenterPoint’s tracker shows. As of Wednesday morning, At least 14,000 were without power in Pasadena, with another several thousand outages across Deer Park and Baytown to the east.   

CenterPoint crews got to work restoring power in Deer Park at 6 a.m. Wednesday morning, ABC 13 reported. The energy provider also told ABC 13 that its transmission feed was damaged during the storm.   

The National Weather Service has confirmed that the tornado caused at least EF2-level damage in the southeast Houston area—meaning that the twister caused “considerable damage,” and generated winds around 110 mph at least, according to the NWS. Residents in the Pasadena area posted photos and videos Tuesday afternoon showing buildings with roofs torn off and homes flattened by the tornado. In Deer Park, a Shell chemicals plant reported ‘flaring’ due to damage caused by the tornado. 

Tuesday’s storm marked the first time the National Weather Service has ever issued a “Tornado Emergency” for the Southeast Houston area. More severe than a tornado warning, a tornado emergency is ” issued when there is a severe threat to human life and catastrophic damage from an imminent or ongoing tornado. According to the NWS, tornado emergencies are “reserved for situations when a reliable source confirms a tornado, or there is clear radar evidence of the existence of a damaging tornado, such as the observation of debris.”