Beryl knocks out traffic lights at more than 1,000 Houston intersections: 'It's been terrible'

Luke Jones Image
Wednesday, July 10, 2024
Traffic lights out at over 1,000 Houston intersections after Beryl
As efforts continue to restore power in Houston, experts remind drivers to treat an intersection without working traffic lights as a four-way stop.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Traffic is building across the city after Hurricane Beryl knocked out power to thousands of traffic lights.

At some intersections, the lights are completely off. In other spots, they're flashing red. A spokesperson for Houston Public Works said city crews have to manually reset each of the lights. So far, they've only reached about 1,000 of the 2,500 intersections they're responsible for.

"It's been terrible," driver Matt Yust told ABC13. "People are not observing any of the traffic laws. It's a free-for-all, for sure."

When the lights aren't working at an intersection, you're supposed to treat it as a four-way stop.

"The rules are pretty basic with that: First one there is the first one that gets to go. If you get there at the same time as somebody else, it's the car on the right that gets to go first," Brad Coleman, owner of Safeway Driving, said.

But drivers say not everyone seems to be aware of the rules.

"You have to really be on your p's and q's and watch where everybody is coming and going before you think you can even try to go, even if you know it's your turn," driver Sabrina Boyett said.

Just one day after Beryl, the stress of storm cleanup is likely only adding to the confusion.

"Everything's going on in their mind: 'What am I gonna do about power?' 'How am I gonna feed my kids?' All these different scenarios, and then the light's not on, and they just freeze and drive straight through it," Coleman said.

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