Many roads in the region are closed due to fallen power lines and debris AFP

Severe storms hit Houston area on Thursday night for the second time this month, resulting at least four deaths and nearly 1 million homes and businesses in Texas without power.

Two deaths were caused by fallen trees, and another was due to a crane accident, according to Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña. Details on the fourth death were not provided.

The storms brought heavy rains, severe flooding, and winds reaching 100 miles per hour. They caused significant damage, including broken windows and glass in downtown Houston.

Mayor John Whitmire has urged residents to stay home due to dangerous road conditions.

"Stay at home tonight, do not go to work tomorrow, unless you're an essential worker. Stay home, take care of your children," he said.

"Our first responders will be working around the clock."

Schools in the Houston Independent School District will remain closed on Friday.

At the peak of the outages, around 963,000 customers in Texas were without power, with Harris County experiencing significant disruptions.

Emergency services were working through the night to clear debris and restore safety.

Flights were temporarily grounded at Houston's two major airports with sustained winds of minimum 60 mph recording at Bush Intercontinental Airport.

The National Weather Service issued flood warnings and watches, predicting three to six inches of rain and warning of possible tornadoes. Many roads were closed due to fallen power lines and debris.

Social media posts showed severe flooding, fallen trees, and damaged infrastructure, including roof panels blown off the Hyatt Regency Hotel and windows shattered in the Wells Fargo Plaza.

Minute Maid Park, home to the Houston Astros, also experienced rain leakage during the storm.

Efforts to clear debris and restore power were underway, with officials urging caution and patience as recovery operations continued.

The storms also affected the city's suburbs, with Montgomery County emergency officials describing the damage to transmission lines as "catastrophic." They warned that power outages in the area could go on for several days.

This is the second time the region facing severe storms this month. Heavy storms hit the area during the first week of May, leading to a number of high-water rescues, including some from the rooftops of flooded homes.