¡Que Onda Magazine!

Houston's oldest bilingual publication

City of Houston begins assessing damage after deadly Beryl: ‘It’s still dangerous’

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Mayor John Whitmire delivered an urgent message to Houstonians after Beryl slammed southeast Texas: “Don’t let the clear skies fool you. We still have dangerous circumstances.”

City officials are transitioning from rescue to assessment mode, and Whitmire is asking the public to help them help you.

“We still have high water across our city… flooding issues,” Whitmire said in a press conference Monday evening. “It is still dangerous.”

According to Whitmire, every city department is operating at full capacity, with “all hands on deck.” Nothing will go unattended, the mayor said.

Heavy garbage pick-ups will begin on Tuesday, and solid waste will start regular service on Wednesday.

METRO Lift has resumed normal operations, and METRO will begin limited services on Tuesday.

The mayor also mentioned he is working with Public Works and TxDOT to get traffic lights back up and operating.

Beryl was downgraded to a tropical storm, but its powerful punch didn’t let up.

The storm made landfall near Matagorda as a Category 1 hurricane.

It moved inland, quickly producing life-threatening conditions.

Three people were killed, including two people who had trees fall on their homes.

READ MORE: At least 2 people dead after trees fall on homes as Beryl moves across Houston area, Pct. 4 says

The storm quickly inundated the Houston area, with Whitmire saying there’s water in excess of 10 inches across the city.

First responders have also received several calls for rescues, including one that occurred at SH-288 northbound at 610 South Loop, where a man was spotted on the top of his truck in floodwaters.

Firefighters used a ladder to lift the man to safety, his truck sinking into the high water on 288.

A driver stranded in floodwaters on Highway 288 is safe after the Houston Fire Department lifted him to dry land Monday morning.

Whitmire added that the city received over 400 911 calls in one hour and expected that to increase. Residents are also urged to only use 911 for emergencies. Contact 311 or 211 for other issues.

City officials echoed Whitmire’s warnings asking people to stay off the roads due to debris.

“If you don’t need to be on the street, stay off. If you’re on the street, don’t drive over flooded roadways,” said Houston Fire Department Chief Samuel Peña.

Another concern for first responders is the possibility of carbon monoxide calls due to people using generators, which should be kept away from homes and never brought inside.

Meanwhile, the Houston Police Department said it made 15 high water rescue calls, saving eight people.

The concern for many, though, is how long the power will be out, especially as night falls and temperatures rise.

CenterPoint has been reporting more than 2.2 million customers without power as of 12:52 p.m.

With that, the Houston Police Department said it would have officers in both marked and unmarked vehicles to patrol areas without electricity.

Houston Public Works said during the briefing Monday morning that while most of its facilities were on a backup generator, the water supply is safe.

“Our streets are going to drain slower than we’re used to with an event like this,” said Randy Macchi, chief operating officer with HPW, explaining that’s why they’re asking everybody to stay home.