Thousands may be without power until Monday after midnight thunderstorm rips through Valley

The scene in some Valley cities appears not unlike the aftermath of a hurricane

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Remnants of metal awnings shown wrapped around a tree outside an accounting business in the 1200 block of East Nolana Avenue in McAllen on Saturday, April 29, 2023. (Monitor Photo)

Athunderstorm that ripped through the Rio Grande Valley overnight Friday and into early Saturday morning has left tens of thousands without power and with no immediate relief in sight for at least 24 to 48 hours, and caused havoc in city streets, residential and business property as a deluge of rain and hail drenched the region, and 80 mile per hour winds uprooted trees, power lines and light poles and ripped roofs and awnings from structures. 

The scene in some Valley cities appears not unlike the aftermath of a hurricane.

Reports of road closures, street light damage and power outages are scattered throughout the Valley, at one point leaving nearly 200,000 without electricity since 1 a.m. as crews work to restore power. 

AEP Texas said in a news release this morning that outages have decreased from 156,000 as of late Friday to 90,000 currently.

Power restoration times, however, range from late Saturday to late Monday evening.


>> Edinburg, Monday at 10 p.m. 

>> Harlingen, Saturday at 10 p.m.

>> McAllen, Monday at 6 p.m.

>> Mission, Monday at 10 p.m.

>> Pharr, Monday at 10 p.m.

>> Port Isabel, Saturday at 10 p.m.

>> Rio Grande City, Saturday at 10 p.m.

>> San Benito, Saturday at 10 p.m.

>> Weslaco, Sunday at 8 p.m.

“Please remember that these are (projections) that could change as restoration efforts continue,” AEP Texas stressed in its release.

Residents should avoid any downed power lines or electrical equipment. 

“AEP Texas crews and business partners from nearby districts have been called in to aid in the restoration,” AEP Texas added. “Other utilities are being contacted through the company’s mutual assistance program.”

Magic Valley Electric Cooperative also reported around 27,932 power outages currently, with 26,355 of them concentrated in the Hidalgo County area, and 1,539 in Cameron County.

An overnight storm ripped trees apart at an orthopedic business located on East Nolana Avenue in McAllen on Saturday, April 29, 2023. (Monitor Photo)

The Texas Department of Transportation said in an email Saturday that the southbound U.S. 281 and Interstate 69C frontage road, between Ferguson and State Highway 495 and the westbound U.S. Expressway 83 and Interstate 2 frontage road, is currently closed as a result of the weather.

“… (D)rivers are also asked to be cautious on their commutes today and to be on the lookout for debris on the roadway,” TxDOT said in the release. “To report debris on a highway, please reach out to the nearest law enforcement agency. Motorists should also never (drive) through any flooded roadways.”

TxDOT also reported that direct connector 4 on the Pharr interchange, which is the Edinburg to McAllen connector, is closed due to a disabled 18-wheeler, but the agency did not state whether this was as a result of the storm.

In Edinburg, the city urged residents to heed caution when traveling through the city where traffic signals are damaged. The damaged signals are located at Jackson and Sprague, Sugar and Trenton, and Sugar and Sprague.

Pieces of metal awnings strewn in the parking lot of an accounting business in the 1200 block of East Nolana Avenue in McAllen on Saturday, April 29, 2023. (Monitor Photo)

The city of McAllen took to Facebook on Saturday morning warning residents about driving on city streets due to reports of damage. A drive through Nolana showed awnings wrapped around structures like trash receptacles, trees uprooted and lying strewn in parking lots, and utility poles ripped from the ground on McColl as well as power cables stripped and dangling from the poles.

The Monitor also sustained damage in the parking lot area with light poles that crashed onto the ground and a portable shed that was flipped upside down.

Residents in McAllen also took to social media with one user, Daniel Leos Garcia, uploading video of his fence torn from the ground as violent windows whipped through his area and lightning seemed to perpetually light the night sky without ceasing.

Others are uploading photos of damage in their areas to Facebook and Twitter as well.

If you have any photos or videos to share, you can email them to [email protected] or share them in the comments sections