At Least 4 Dead, Nearly 700K Without Power After Severe Storm in Houston: 'It Was Fierce'

On the morning of May 17, streets were littered with glass in downtown, while school districts canceled classes for more than 400,000 students

<p>Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP</p>

Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP

Hurricane-force winds tore buildings apart, caused glass to fall from downtown skyscrapers and knocked out electricity to nearly 1 million homes in Houston, resulting in the deaths of at least four people, authorities said.

The powerful storm moved quickly across the metro area on the evening of Thursday, May 16, Houston Mayor John Whitmire said.

“It was fierce, it was intense, it was quick and most Houstonians didn’t have time to get themselves out of harm’s way,” Whitmire told reporters on Friday.

Falling trees claimed the lives of at least two people, while another died in an accident involving a crane overturning, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Related: Dad of 10-Year-Old Boy Who Was Swept Into Storm Drain Says to ‘Keep the Prayers Coming’

On Friday morning, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Whitmire gave a joint update on the aftermath of the storm, which resulted in school districts canceling classes for 400,000 area students and the closing of government offices.

<p>Kirk Sides/Houston Chronicle via Getty</p>

Kirk Sides/Houston Chronicle via Getty

“We are going to have to talk about this disaster in weeks, not days,” Hidalgo said.

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By midday Friday, nearly 700,000 Harris County residents were still without power, while authorities were cautioning residents to avoid unnecessary driving — especially in downtown, where streets were littered with glass.

“Downtown is a mess,” Whitmire said.

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In videos shared on social media, the impact of the strong storm seemingly caught residents by surprise.

CW affiliate KIAH Meteorologist Adam Krueger posted one clip of the moment on X, when high winds brought down one side of entertainment venue Conejo Malo.

Related: Dozens Dead After Dam Bursts amid Ongoing Heavy Rain: 'Devastating'

Elsewhere in downtown, the Houston Astros game went on underneath the roof of Minute Maid Park.

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But the rain and wind still found a way inside, puddling at the warning track.

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