Nicholas turned into a hurricane Monday night before making landfall along the central Texas coast in the next few hours, the National Hurricane Center said in its latest advisory. The storm is threatening the region with “potentially fatal” precipitation, strong winds and storm surges over parts of Texas’ central and upper coasts, forecasters said. Millions of residents are subject to flash flood warnings.
On Monday night, Nicholas was about 20 miles southwest of Matagorda, Texas, and about 45 miles southwest of Freeport, Texas, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, the center said. hurricanes. The storm could produce 6 to 12 inches, with up to 18 inches in isolated areas, across the Texas coast.
Forecasters have said “potentially fatal” flash floods are possible along the upper Texas coast and south-central Louisiana. They said southeast Texas, southern Louisiana and southern Mississippi could see 4 to 8 inches of rain.
“There are people who drive in high water and sometimes they lose their vehicles and worse yet, their lives,” Governor Greg Abbott said Monday.
The Gulf Coast is still recovering from the ravages of Hurricane Ida. In southeast Louisiana, more than 130,000 buildings are still without power, officials said on Sunday. Governor John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency and is urging residents to prepare for possible flooding and heavy rains.
“One of the things we have to guard against is dismissing the threat of this storm because it is not currently expected to reach hurricane strength before it makes landfall,” said Edwards.
Nicholas is the 14th named storm of the season, a number typically hit later in mid-November.