Two robbers tried to break into homes during Hurricane Harvey, but probably forgot they were in Texas.
With nearly half of all Texas households owning a gun, the results of the break-ins were obvious. Both robbers were shot. One died.
Corpus Christi Police responded to an 11 p.m. call, about an hour after the hurricane made landfall, and found a man shot in the head, Caller-Times reported.
The man broke into the home on the 7100 block of Ficus Court near Yorktown Boulevard and was shot by the homeowner, responding police officers said.
The man survived the shot and was taken to Christus Spohn Hospital Shoreline.
The burglar’s name was still unknown as of Saturday afternoon, according to Senior Officer Travis Pace.
Corpus Christi Police did not record any major incidents on Friday night.
Meanwhile in Houston, an alleged home intruder was shot dead by a resident early on Saturday, Chron reported.
A person reportedly attempted to enter a home on the 6900 block of Avenue T and was fatally shot by a resident inside, according to Houston Police Homicide Division.
The first death directly related to the hurricane was reported in Rockport, Texas. Mayor Charles J. Wax confirmed that one person was killed in a house fire when Hurricane Harvey landed on the shores of Texas Friday night, Fox News reported.
Harvey hit Texas, the heart of the U.S. oil and gas industry, late Friday as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 130 miles per hour, making it the strongest storm to strike the state since 1961.
The storm has ripped off roofs, snapped powerlines, and triggered tornadoes and flash floods, while also curtailing a large portion of America’s oil and fuel production and prompting price hikes at the pumps.
It has since weakened to a tropical storm, but is expected to lash Texas for days as it lumbers inland, bringing as much as 40 inches of rain, affecting heavily populated areas like Houston. Texas utility companies, meanwhile, said nearly a quarter of a million customers were without power.
One person died in a house fire in the town of Rockport, 30 miles north of the city of Corpus Christi, as Harvey roared ashore overnight, Mayor Charles Wax said in a news conference on Saturday, marking the first confirmed fatality from the storm.
Across Rockport, which took a direct hit from the storm, the streets were flooded and strewn with power lines and debris. At a recreational vehicle sales lot, a dozen vehicles were flipped over and one had been blown into the middle of the street.
“It was terrible,” resident Joel Valdez, 57, told Reuters. The storm ripped part of the roof from his trailer home at around 4 a.m., he said. “I could feel the whole house move.”
Valdez said he stayed through the storm to look after his animals. “I have these miniature donkeys and I don’t know where they are,” he said, as he sat in a Jeep with windows smashed by the storm.
Resident Frank Cook, 56, also stayed through the storm.
“If you have something left of your house, you’re lucky,” he said, surveying the damage from his vehicle.
Before the storm hit, Rockport’s mayor told anyone staying behind to write their names on their arms for identification in case of death or injury. A high school, hotel, senior housing complex and other buildings suffered structural damage, according to emergency officials and local media. Some were being used as shelters.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Saturday said he would activate 1,800 members of the military to help with the statewide cleanup while 1,000 people would conduct search-and-rescue operations.
The streets of Corpus Christi, which has around 320,000 residents, were deserted on Saturday, with billboards twisted and strong winds still blowing. City authorities asked residents to reduce use of toilets and faucets because power outages left waste water plants unable to treat sewage.
A drill ship broke free of its mooring overnight and rammed into some tugs in the port of Corpus Christi, port executive Sean Strawbridge said. The crews on the tugs were safe, he added.
The city was under voluntary evacuation ahead of the storm.
Harvey was a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale when it hit the coast, the second-highest category, and the most powerful storm in over a decade to come ashore anywhere in the mainland United States.
Reuters contributed to this report.