Death Toll: At least 8 killed in Houston area during Hurricane Beryl

Ominous clouds accompany a heavy band of rain in Houston on July 7, 2024, the eve before Beryl made landfall on the Texas coast. (Annie Mulligan For The Texas Tribune, Annie Mulligan For The Texas Tribune)

HOUSTON – At least eight people were killed in the Houston area during Hurricane Beryl’s arrival.

Two out of the three deaths were due to fallen trees and another person died in a house fire.

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As Beryl made landfall around 4 a.m. at Matagorda Bay, wind gusts exceeded up to 75 mph.

1st death

Early Monday morning, in Atascocita, a tree fell onto a house in the 20900 block of Heather Grove Ct., trapping two residents inside.

A 53-year-old man was reportedly entrapped and unresponsive. He was reportedly sitting in the house with his family, riding out the storm, when an oak tree fell on the roof, causing the structure to collapse on him. He was later pronounced dead.

His wife and children were unharmed. Another occupant was transported to the hospital with injuries.

2nd death

In a separate incident Monday morning, in northwest Houston, a caller reported that a tree had fallen through the roof of her grandmother’s room in the 17400 block of Rustic Canyon Trail. The 74-year-old woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

3rd death

During an interview with Chief Sam Peña with the Houston Fire Department, he confirmed that at least one person died following a house fire.

It happened on Bendell Road off the Gulf Fwy, miles away from Hobby Airport.

4th death

A Houston Police Department employee is dead after driving through high waters during Hurricane Beryl Monday morning.

HPD stated that 54-year-old Russell Richardson, an Information Security Officer in the Office of Technology Services, was caught in rising floodwaters on Houston Avenue.

During a news conference Monday afternoon, Houston Mayor John Whitmire said the employee was en route to work when he exited I-45 and got caught in the flood waters. Whitmire said Richardson attempted to call for a rescue but was found submerged in his vehicle.

5th death

Montgomery County’s first death was a man in his 40s, who was struck by a falling tree while operating a tractor on private property in East Montgomery County.

6th and 7th death

The other two fatalities were discovered in a tent in a wooded area in Magnolia. Further details regarding these fatalities are currently unavailable.

8th death

A 77-year-man who was found in a submerged vehicle was pronounced dead at an area hospital Monday at 3:35 p.m.

Houston police said the man was driving a silver Toyota Corolla northbound at 2600 North Main Street on a bridge over White Oak Bayou. He reportedly drove onto a curb and attempted to cross high water during Hurricane Beryl.

The bayou’s current pushed the vehicle against a wall and the vehicle was submerged, police said.

The identity of the man and his cause of death are pending autopsy by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

Other deaths

On July 3, when Beryl was a powerful category 4, at least seven people were killed as the storm roared through Jamaica, according to The Associated Press.

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