Seven dead in Houston region in wake of Hurricane Beryl

Two people died when trees fell on homes as the Category 1 hurricane brought winds over 80 mph and heavy rain to the region early Monday.

By Sarah Grunau, Houston Public MediaJuly 9, 2024 3:49 pm, ,

From Houston Public Media:

At least seven people died in the Houston area as a result of Hurricane Beryl.

Beryl came crashing through Houston hours after making landfall in the Southeast Texas coastal town of Matagorda. The Category 1 hurricane brought winds over 80 mph and heavy rain to the region early Monday and several people caught in the effects of the system died.

Russell Richardson, a 54-year-old Houston Police Department information security officer, died on Monday on his way to work when he was caught in rising flood water on Houston Avenue, Acting Police Chief Larry Satterwhite said.

During a news conference Monday, Houston Mayor John Whitmire said Richardson was an essential worker who was reporting to work in the early hours of Monday.

Richardson made a call to the police department for help before his vehicle was submerged in floodwater near I-45 at Houston Avenue.

A 73-year-old woman died in her home on the 17400 block of Rustic Canyon Trail in Spring on Monday after a tree came crashing through her bedroom.

Maria Loredo was a grandmother who lived with her adult son, his wife and their two young children. A large tree was blown over about 9 a.m. and destroyed the back half of the home, instantly killing her.

Hours earlier, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez confirmed a 53-year-old man died after a tree fell on his house in Kings River Village in Humble. The man was trapped under debris and confirmed dead at the scene.

Officials said a Monday house fire in southeast Houston likely caused by lightning left one man dead, according to news reports.

At least three of the seven people who died from the storm’s impacts were in Montgomery County, officials said.

A man in his 40s died after he was struck by a falling tree while operating a tractor in East Montgomery County. Two other people were discovered in a tent in a wooded area of Magnolia.

“We are deeply saddened by these losses and extend our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends affected,” Trey Baxter, a spokesperson for the Montgomery County emergency management office said in a press release. “Our priority remains the safety and well-being of all residents as we continue our recovery efforts.”

RELATED: Heat advisory in effect across Houston after Beryl leaves millions without power

“Please avoid downed power lines and report any hazardous conditions to local authorities,” he said.

Circumstances surrounding the death of the two people found in a tent were not immediately disclosed.

Another person in Louisiana died Monday as the weakened storm made a northeast curve along the Gulf Coast after passing through Houston, bringing the total U.S. death toll from Beryl to eight.

At least 11 people were killed by Beryl last week as the category 4 storm whipped powerful winds through the Caribbean. Among the deaths: three people in both Grenada and Carriacou and another person died in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, according to AP.

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