Sharpstown Area after Hurricane Beryl: Days 1 & 2

Sharpstown Area after Hurricane Beryl: Days 1 & 2
Cars in line for gas at the Now & Forever on Beechnut & 59, 7/9/24.

Tanesha Hines plugged her phone and tablet into the base of the Cricket sign at Beechnut and Mary Bates. Her son Divine, 5, poked the upper half of his body out of one of the rolled-down windows of her parked maroon crossover. Her only shade came from her vehicle—she stood on the side opposite the sinking sun.

Hines said she lost power in her Sharpstown apartment at 6:08 AM on Monday. At 6:00 PM on Tuesday, she still hadn’t got it back, even though the apartments on the other side of her street were back on the grid. Normally, she works at Texas Children's, but her son's daycare facility had no power either.

With raw temperatures in Sharpstown spiking at 97 and humidity hovering above 50% much of the day, according to Weather Underground history, Tuesday had lived up to the National Weather Service’s heat advisory.

Like Hines, many Sharpstown residents and businesses spent Monday and Tuesday without power thanks to Hurricane Beryl. Even HCU—on a usually resilient grid—has a campus-wide outage that had not been restored as of Tuesday morning.

On Monday, a neighbor let me enjoy their generator power and wi-fi so that I could publish a storm update. I walked back home after 9:00 PM in near-total darkness, except for a glimmer from the crescent moon. I didn’t appreciate streetlights until I realized how easy it would be to get mugged when they’re off.

Around 9:30 PM, my power kicked on, along with most of CCT-3 South’s (and the streetlights). I suspect my outage had been caused by a problem at the substation, because a CenterPoint email told me that my power issue was affecting nearly 3,000 other customers. A few Sharpstown residents from other sections told me that CenterPoint restored their electricity Monday, but many were still waiting.

I spent Tuesday morning and early afternoon back at my neighbors’ house—my wi-fi was still down—with their friend from Section 3 who still had no power. On Facebook, many neighbors echoed her problems. Around 5 PM, after fixing up my bike, I hopped on to assess the area.

A handful of yards in CCT-3 South were still covered with twigs, but most were already raked clean. People with a truck and trailer were picking up one of the several tidy branch piles dotting the curbs. Sharpstown residents had been busy.

Near Beechnut and Gessner, several stores were operating: CVS Pharmacy, McDonald’s, Bubble Boba, and La Michoacana grocery. But most of the Southway Shopping Center parking lot looked like a ghost town.

The Phillips 66 on Gessner & 59 had power, but paper signs on the door declared, “NO GAS.” Several cars and drivers sat at the pumps anyway.

Further south on Gessner, the woman behind the counter at China House said the restaurant got power back today and would be open during regular business hours tomorrow. Don Rey was running too, even though the strip mall next door was dead.

Don Rey had power. I'm not so sure about the strip mall next door.

At Beechnut & 59, the restaurant El Barquito was open. Both corner stations—Now & Forever and Chevron—had gas. So did the Swift tucked back in the neighborhood on Wednesbury. Most pumps had at least one car filling up and one waiting. The clerks said they didn’t know how much gas they had left.

A local homeless man, Dale Malone, said that he weathered the storm, but many of his possessions had been swept away by wind or water.

A few more Sharpstown residents announced on Facebook that they received power late Tuesday night. But as of 9:56 PM, nearly 1.4 million CenterPoint customers remained without power, according to the company's outage tracker. That includes many in Sharpstown.

Tenesha Hines said that she had tried to drive around to keep herself and Divine cool, and one of her neighbors had even been sitting in a parked and running car most of the day. Those tactics burned gas, but the lines at a local gas station deterred Hines, who said she’d try tomorrow.

She would have used her apartment’s pool to stay cool, but it was full of debris—including a tree limb, she said. She hadn’t heard about the cooling centers that Harris County and the City of Houston had opened during the hottest hours of the day. (The AlertHouston notification didn’t come until 8:40 AM Tuesday.)

Meanwhile, Hines worried that the food in her fridge and freezer would spoil if her electricity didn't return soon. She also worried about price gouging, claiming that some local food sellers were taking advantage of people. “We don’t even come together to help each other.”

But I saw neighbors helping each other on Monday. There’s hope for Sharpstown.

Where can you get cool on Wednesday? See below.

No Power? Where to Get Cool and Get Food in Southwest Houston: Wed, July 10
As nearly 1.4 million Houston-area CenterPoint customers wait for electricity, the National Weather Service has issued another heat advisory for Houston, forecasting a heat index of 106 on Wednesday. If you’re stuck in Southwest Houston without AC, food, or water, help is available. See below for a list of