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Jonathan Owens' support for Houston shows true character—how important is community in times of crisis?

Residents of Houston went through a horrific struggle as a disastrous tornado swept through much of the city. Simone Biles’ husband and NFL star, Jonathan Owens, was one of those voicing concerns. Owens shared a message on his X account to express his support for the community. “Hope everyone is safe out here in Houston,” he wrote. The storm severely hampered emergency services and left over a million people without electricity.

Before making landfall in Texas, Hurricane Beryl downgraded from a Category 5, wreaked havoc in the Caribbean. The hurricane, moving north with sustained winds of 75 mph, claimed the lives of 11 people in the region. In Matagorda, Texas, residents prepared for the worst as Beryl neared landfall, boarding up homes and evacuating beach towns.

Hurricane Beryl neared Texas, prompting several warnings from the National Weather Service (NWS). The storm’s increased intensity upon reaching Texas, from a category 5 hurricane to a category 1, did not lessen its effects. Beryl hit land close to Matagorda with wind gusts of up to 75 mph, resulting in considerable destruction and power disruptions throughout the area.

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Officials from Texas voiced alarm about the noncompliance with evacuation orders. The vacant evacuation routes were seen by Dan Patrick, the acting governor, during Greg Abbott’s absence. “One of the things that kind of triggers our concern a little bit, we’ve looked at all of the roads leaving the coast and the maps are still green. So we don’t see many people leaving,” Patrick said, drawing attention to the dangers that would await anyone who persisted. As emergency workers performed water rescues in Rosenberg, Texas, amid falling trees and increasing floodwaters, this worry became apparent.

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The storm’s consequences went beyond blackouts. With temperatures predicted to reach over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and heat indices as high as 108 degrees Fahrenheit, coastal Texas saw severe flooding. The situation was serious. Warm temperatures complicated recovery attempts, according to CenterPoint Energy, which reported extensive disruptions.

The effects caused by the storm

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Traveling to the Core Hydration Classic 2024 has not been easy for Gabby Douglas, who is an official of the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy (WOGA). However, Douglas experienced delays as a result of plane cancellations in storm-affected Dallas and Fort Worth during travel difficulties caused by the storm.

Additionally, Gabby Douglas wrote on her Instagram story, “Flight got cancelled, and now stuck in Dallas. Help!!!!!” Fans were relieved when she arrived in Hartford safely for her training despite these obstacles. Douglas’s travel, which was chronicled through updates, took place before the competition amid concerns about the weather.

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Moreover, along with senior hurricane specialist Jack Beven’s focus on the ongoing risks—“Beryl’s moving inland but this is not the end of the story yet.” Local authorities were also on the lookout for potential impacts as the storm approached the Mississippi and Ohio Valleys. The National Hurricane Center continued to track Beryl’s progression.

Hurricanes have a long history in Texas. Beryl was the 109th tropical system to make landfall there since 1850. Residents were preparing for Beryl’s effect as the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which destroyed the Houston area in 2017, loomed big. Thus, such occurrences are still made worse by the climate problem; scientists forecast an above-average hurricane season this year.