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Katy Residents Continue to Recover from Rare Storm; What You Need to Know

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

May 20, 2024

By Natalie Cook Clark

 

Katy continues to recover from the unprecedented “derecho” windstorm that hit last Thursday. While some neighborhoods are still in the dark, overall the Katy community has stayed positive as neighbors helped each other.


Photo credit: Patty Quintanilla

 

An extremely rate “derecho” windstorm hit the greater Houston area and many cities across the southern U.S. on Thursday evening. The storm left hundreds of thousands in the dark for days (some Katy residents are still without power.) Katy ISD closed 23 campuses on Friday as those schools either had damage or no power. Today all Katy ISD schools resume for the final week of school.



 

Though many schools who had learning celebrations scheduled for this morning are now modifying their plans. Please check your students school for any possibly changes to celebrations throughout this final week.

 

Many Katy families took to social media to express concerns over Katy ISD’s decision to not cancel all of their schools Friday as many families were without power and road conditions were thought to be unsafe.

 

What is a ‘Derecho?’

Photo credit: Shirlee Hale

A derecho is a rare event for our area. The storm that hit Katy Thursday evening (March 16, 2024,) stretched from the greater Houston area to Cape Canaveral, Florida. The damage stretches for over 1,000 miles and the winds reached a speed over 100 mph. Additionally, two tornados have been confirmed as a result of this storm. One is Cypress and one in Waller County.

 

AccuWeather estimates that the estimated cost for storm damage, for the Houston area alone, will be over $7 billion dollars.

 

Katy Neighborhoods Still Without Power

While many Katy residents rejoiced over the weekend with their power returning, many are still in the dark this morning. Residents in Freeman Ranch, Settlers Village, Silverstone, Creekstone, Cimarron, parts of Falcon Point and Memorial Parkway, Winward and Lantana and more are still without power.

 

Centerpoint continues provide updates but says that they hope power will be restored to most by Wednesday.

 

Thursday’s storm resulted in a many downed powerlines including significant damage to transformers.

 

Many residents rushed out to get generators. Generators were able to be used to power refrigerators, charge cell phones, and other electronic devices. Some residents contacted electricians to install a power transfer switch to allow generators to power entire homes. Some residents went all out the invest in generac generators, that also can power entire homes.

 


Katy Residents Experience Neighborly Love

 The Abbasi family was with their son at his Tae Kwon Do Academy off of S. Mason Road. When power went out, they finished class by flashlight, to distract the students from what was happening outside.

 

“We didn’t know we lost power until we got home later that night,” says Jeanette Abbasi. “We were hopeful that it was just overnight and would be back the next day. When it turned into Friday night/Saturday morning we realized we may not get it back for who knows how long.”

 

“Our community, Sunterra really stepped up, checking on everyone, giving tips on what to do/what not to do, stores that still had generators and offering assistance to help set them up,” says Abbasi.

 

When power was still out Saturday, neighbors went door to door getting people together for bbq’s. The community shared food and fellowship before anything went bad.

 

Power was restored to Sunterra yesterday and their Facebook page lit up in celebration. Now Sunterra residents are reaching out to neighbors in Katy Manor still without power offering their generators and assistance.

 

“I love seeing how the community has stepped up and has been there for each other,” says Abbasi.

 


Photo credit: JoAnne Ibarra


How to Report Storm Damage

Local authorities use data reported by residents to help assess the over damage and impact that the storm had on the area. It is important to accurately report damage.

 

Fort Bend Residents can report damage online.

Harris County residents can find resources and report damage through Ready Harris online.

Do you have insurance questions? Texas Department of Insurance offers help online.  

 

Normal trash pick-up is also happening today in the area. Be sure to put out your bags with bad food and debris to help clear your home.

 

As we approach the start of the 2024-2025 Hurricane Season, residents should use this as a wake up call and make sure they are prepared for the next bad storm.

 



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