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1 million customers are without power in Texas as Dallas and Houston get slammed with destructive storms

Vehicles are tangled in the debris of a collapsed body shop on May 26, 2024 after a tornado rolled through Valley View, Texas. (Julio Cortez /AP via CNN Newsource) Vehicles are tangled in the debris of a collapsed body shop on May 26, 2024 after a tornado rolled through Valley View, Texas. (Julio Cortez /AP via CNN Newsource)
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More than a million customers in Texas were without power Tuesday as powerful storms delivered another round of violent weather to the state still reeling from an almost unrelenting parade of destructive and deadly storms in recent weeks.

Storms unloaded hurricane-force wind gusts across the Dallas area, with Dallas Fort Worth International Airport recording a wind gust of 77 mph early Tuesday as power outages in the area started to skyrocket.

The same damaging storms that tore through Dallas hit Houston with hurricane-force winds Tuesday afternoon. Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport recorded a wind gust of 75 mph.

The power outages started to ramp up early Tuesday morning in the Dallas area, then extended south with the storms as they roared across the state, according to PowerOutage.us. Hundreds of thousands of outages were in Dallas County, where officials issued a disaster declaration and warned outages could last for days.

These storms have arrived even as some residents are still mourning at least seven people killed in the state during violent storms over Memorial Day weekend. In total, almost two dozen people, including four children, were killed across five states as storms hit the central U.S. over the holiday period, and several communities are grappling with significant losses of homes and businesses.

Parts of Texas and extreme western Louisiana face Tuesday’s most serious threat of severe weather. Large hail, lightning and wind gusts as strong as 80 mph are the main threats with any storm. A few tornadoes may also occur, according to the National Weather Service.

Some of the same areas rocked by storms early Tuesday could deal with more storms Tuesday night as another round fires up late in the afternoon in western Texas and Oklahoma and tracks east.

Back-to-back deluges could make it difficult for some communities still trying to pick up the pieces after an exceptional number of tornadoes and destructive storms have torn through the central US in recent weeks.

Sunday was the busiest severe weather day of the year so far, with more than 600 reports of strong winds or hail across more than 20 states, including gusts over 75 mph and hail the size of softballs. Twenty-six tornado reports also were made in 10 states. Storms turned homes and businesses into piles of rubble, flung cars and brought down power lines.

Power outages could last days in Dallas

It could take days to fully restore power in the Dallas-Fort Worth area after violent storms unleashed hurricane-force wind gusts Tuesday morning. Dallas is the second major Texas city to have critical power infrastructure damaged by severe weather in less than two weeks.

“This, unfortunately, will be a multi-day power outage situation, similar to the one that (occurred) in Harris County and Houston,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins cautioned during a news conference Tuesday.

A derecho and tornado in mid-May blasted 100 mph wind gusts through the Houston metro, killing multiple people and knocking out power for days.

The full extent of damage to power infrastructure in the Dallas area is still being assessed, but the current prognosis is concerning, according to Grant Cruise, a spokesperson for Oncor — the state’s largest utility company.

“We did have a significant number of downed lines because of this weather event,” Cruise said during Tuesday’s news conference. “In many cases it’s not going to be simple repairs, we’re looking at complete reconstruction for parts of our area.”

The storm damage prompted Jenkins to issue a disaster declaration for Dallas County.

The outages come as some Texans head to the polls Tuesday for primary runoff elections. More than a third of Dallas County’s polling places were without power Tuesday afternoon, according to Jenkins.

Summerlike heat will ease in Texas this week, but those left without power or a reliable way to cool down could still face the risk of dangerous heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

CNN’s Andy Rose contributed to this report.

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