- Nicholas came ashore 70 miles from where historic Hurricane Harvey made landfall in 2017 — actually closer to Houston.
- Nicholas threatened to inundate much of the Deep South in floods on Tuesday.
- Some areas can see 20 inches of rain.
Hurricane Nicholas hit the Texas coast on Tuesday, hitting land along the Matagorda Peninsula. Heavy rain and storm surge It threatens to encircle a large part of the deep south in floods.
The storm’s winds eased slightly as it crossed land, and Nicholas’ rating was downgraded to a tropical storm Tuesday morning. The storm continued to weaken throughout the day and by Tuesday night, it was caused by a tropical depression. Nicholas’ center was 15 miles west-northwest or Port Arthur, Texas, with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph as of 10 p.m. CST Tuesday night, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Nicholas came ashore 70 miles from where historic Hurricane Harvey made landfall in 2017 — actually closer to Houston, which was overwhelmed by the deadly Category 4 floods that claimed dozens of lives. On Tuesday, Matagorda was quickly engulfed in a storm of storms and floods as Nicholas entered.
“Nicholas could cause life-threatening flooding across the Deep South over the next couple of days,” Eric Blake, a specialist with the National Hurricane Center warned.
Power outages swept the Houston area
More than 510,000 Texas homes and businesses lost power on Tuesday, mostly in and around the Houston metropolitan area, according to utility tracking website poweroutage.us. Nearly 100,000 more were in the dark in Louisiana, although the vast majority of that outage was a remnant of the devastation left by Hurricane Ida two weeks earlier.
Nicholas is expected to produce an additional 5 to 10 inches of rain from the upper coastal region of Texas to central and southern Louisiana, southern Mississippi and further south to Alabama. Forecasters said the isolated storm totals could be as high as 20 inches.
Galveston has already reported 14 inches of rain; Parts of Houston have more than 6 inches.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott Mobilized teams of speedboats and helicopters To assist local authorities along the Gulf Coast with any rescue efforts associated with flooding and high winds. He urged the residents of the area to follow the directions issued by the local authorities.
Hurricane Nicholas: Storm brings strong winds that threaten rainfall on the Gulf Coast
Flash flood warnings issued for most of the region
AccuWeather warned that the greatest danger to life and property would be from torrential rain. With the projected path of Nicholas, heavy rain will end over a wide area to the north and northeast of the storm center that includes much of southeast Texas and part of Louisiana.
“People in the storm-affected area need to prepare for extreme high water events, including flooding and potential damage from rainfall,” Abbott said. “And there is always the possibility of other storms, such as hurricanes.”
Blake said the storm was expected to move slowly to the northeast later Tuesday and then eastward by Wednesday over Louisiana.
“The heavy rain will continue through southeast Texas, and it will continue to spread into Louisiana,” said Adam Dottie, senior meteorologist for AccuWeather.
Coastal Louisiana, still cleaning up from Ida, was a major concern. Governor John Bel Edwards reached out to President Joe Biden, who declared a state of emergency in Louisiana and requested federal assistance.
“Homes are already damaged, people are displaced, and storm debris can clog drainage systems, causing rainwater to build up faster than usual, which could increase the risk of flooding,” Edwards warned.
Forecasters monitor two other weather systems
The National Hurricane Center is monitoring two more disturbances in the Atlantic Ocean with increased chances of turning into tropical depressions later this week. One is north of the Bahamas and the other is off Africa.
The next names in the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season will be Odette and Peter.
Nicholas is the 14th storm in the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach said via Twitter that only four more years since 1966 had seen 14 or more storms by September 12, 2005, 2011, 2012 and 2020.
Tracing the path of Tropical Storm Nicholas
Contributing: John C. Moretz, Corpus Christi Kohler Times; Associated Press