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Mayor Turner: Houston should be 'back to normal' by tomorrow after Nicholas left debris, citywide outages

Turner said the city was well prepared and damage is fairly minimal, he's now focused on restoring power and debris cleanup.

HOUSTON — Power restoration and storm cleanup is the main focus of Houston public workers after Nicholas left debris and downed traffic lights across the area.

"One of the primary objectives is to get things back to normal, so that as of tomorrow morning, schools can reopen, normal activities can resume," Mayor Sylvester Turner said.

Nearly 150,000 city residents were without power as of late Tuesday morning, he said. CenterPoint Energy has 3,200 workers throughout the city making repairs, and according to the mayor, an additional 2,000 workers could be on the way. 

The goal is to get as much of that power restored by today," Turner said.

More than 100 traffic lights are out of commission but will hopefully be operations before tomorrow, according to Public Works officials. 

RELATED: Tropical Storm Nicholas update: What's next for the Houston area

RELATED: Power outage tracker: More than 400,000 without power due to Nicholas; repair work underway

At Houston airports, Turners said an estimated 394 flights were canceled for Monday and Tuesday. He suspects the airport will be back to regular operations sometime Tuesday afternoon.

It was a fairly calm night for the Houston Fire Department. Chief Samuel Pena said firefighters responded to only one water-related call, a high-water rescue. HFD was also called to investigate five carbon monoxide calls.

"We asked people to stay off of the road, and in large part, that's what they did," Turner said. "They stayed at home. They stayed out of harms way, and as a result of that, no injuries, no fatalities."

Clear Creek was the only bayou you to overflow past its banks overnight, the mayor said.

RELATED: METRO resumes bus and rail service on a limited basis after hurricane landfall

At last report, Houston's public waste and water facilities are running on backup generators. However, the mayor everything is going according to plan as the city was well prepared.

In regards to clearing the roadways, the mayor said all road barricades remain in place and won't be removed until a full assessment is complete. He expects drivers should see less and less of them as the day goes on.

According to officials, METRO services should be fully operational before noon. It's the mayor goal to have all city departments — including garbage services, municipal courts, libraries, park services and so on — back to normal operations by Wednesday.

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