Seven dead in Houston area as Hurricane Beryl strikes – Houston Public Media
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Seven dead in Houston area as Hurricane Beryl strikes – Houston Public Media

Seven dead in Houston area as Hurricane Beryl strikes – Houston Public Media

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Maria Loredo, 73, was killed during Hurricane Beryl when a tree fell on the Harris County home where she lived with her family.

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

Beryl struck Houston hours after making landfall in the coastal city of Matagorda in southeast Texas. The Category 1 hurricane brought winds of more than 80 mph and heavy rains Monday morning, and several people affected by the system died.

Russell Richardson, a 54-year-old information security officer with the Houston Police Department, died Monday on his way to work when he was swept away by rising floodwaters 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 came to work early Monday morning.

Richardson called police for help before his vehicle was submerged in floodwaters near I-45 at Houston Avenue.

On Monday in Spring, a 73-year-old woman was killed in her home in the 17400 block of Rustic Canyon Trail when a tree fell on her bedroom.

Maria Loredo was a grandmother who lived with her adult son, his wife, and two young children. A large tree fell around 9 a.m. and destroyed the back half of the house, killing her instantly.

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

One person died Monday in a house fire in southeast Houston that was likely caused by lightning, according to news reports.

At least three of the seven people killed by the storm were in Montgomery County, authorities said.

A man in his 40s died after he was struck by a falling tree while driving 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 deepest condolences to the families and friends affected by this disaster,” Trey Baxter, spokesman for the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management, said in a news release. “Our priority remains the safety and well-being of all residents as we continue our recovery efforts.”

RELATED: Heat warning in effect for Houston after Beryl knocks out power to millions

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

The circumstances of the deaths of the two people found in the tent were not immediately disclosed.

Another person died in Louisiana on Monday as the weakened storm turned northeast along the Gulf Coast after passing over Houston, bringing the total death toll from Hurricane Beryl in the U.S. to eight.

At least 11 people died last week as Category 4 Storm Beryl lashed the Caribbean with high winds. The deaths included three people in Grenada and Carriacou and one in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, according to the AP.