- Nicholas reached shore 70 miles from where historic Hurricane Harvey made landfall in 2017 – and actually closer to Houston.
- Nicholas threatened to flood much of the Deep South in flooding on Tuesday.
- Some areas could see 20 inches of rain.
Hurricane Nicholas struck the Texas coast on Tuesday, crashing into land along the Matagorda Peninsula with torrential rains and storm surges and threatening to envelop much of the Deep South. floods.
The storm’s winds eased slightly as it passed through land, and Nicholas was downgraded to a tropical storm Tuesday morning with sustained winds of 40 mph. The center of the storm was about 30 miles east of Houston at 8 p.m. EDT and the storm winds had dropped to 35 mph.
Nicholas reached shore 70 miles from where historic Hurricane Harvey made landfall in 2017 – and indeed closer to Houston, which was overwhelmed by deadly flooding from this Category 4 monster that killed people. dozens of people. On Tuesday, Matagorda was quickly inundated with storm surges and flooding as Nicholas arrived.
“Nicholas could cause potentially fatal flash floods in the Deep South over the next few days,” warned Eric Blake, a specialist at the National Hurricane Center.
Power outages sweep through Houston area
More than 510,000 Texas homes and businesses were without power on Tuesday, mostly in and around the Houston metro area, according to utility tracking website poweroutage.us. Nearly 100,000 more were in the dark in Louisiana, although the vast majority of that blackout was a holdover from the devastation from Hurricane Ida two weeks ago.
Nicholas is expected to produce an additional 5-10 inches of precipitation from the upper coastal area of Texas to central and southern Louisiana, southernmost Mississippi, and southernmost Alabama. Isolated storm totals could reach 20 inches, forecasters said.
Galveston has previously reported 14 inches of rain; parts of Houston were over 6 inches.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has mobilized whitewater boat and helicopter teams to assist local authorities along the Gulf Coast in all rescue efforts associated with flooding and high winds. He urged residents of the region to follow the guidelines issued by local authorities.
Hurricane Nicolas: Storm brings strong winds, threatening precipitation on the Gulf Coast
Flash flood alerts issued over much of the region
The greatest risk to life and property will come from flood precipitation, AccuWeather warned. With Nicholas’ predicted track, the heaviest rains will fall over a large area 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 be prepared for extreme flood events, including flooding and potential damage from precipitation,” Abbott said. “And there is always the possibility that other storms, such as tornadoes, will occur.”
The storm is expected to move slowly northeast later Tuesday and then east Wednesday over Louisiana, Blake said. Winds were expected to continue to weaken and tropical depression status (sustained winds below 38 mph) was expected on Wednesday.
“Heavy rains will persist in southeast Texas and continue to spread to Louisiana,” said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Adam Douty.
Coastal Louisiana, still cleaning up Ida, was a major concern. Governor John Bel Edwards contacted President Joe Biden, who declared an emergency in Louisiana and ordered federal aid.
“Homes are already damaged, people are being moved and debris from storms could block drainage systems, causing rainwater to accumulate faster than normal, which could increase the threat of flooding,” warned Edwards.
Following: Fast boats, mobilized helicoptersto aid rescue and recovery
Tropical storms: Hurricane Monitoring Center monitoring 2 other systems in the Atlantic
Forecasters monitor 2 other weather systems
The National Hurricane Center is monitoring two more disturbances in the Atlantic with increased chances of becoming tropical lows later this week. One is north of the Bahamas and the other off the coast of Africa.
The next names for the Atlantic hurricane season 2021 will be Odette and Peter.
Nicholas is the 14th named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach said via Twitter that only four more years since 1966 have had 14 or more named storms in the September 12: 2005, 2011, 2012 and 2020.
Following the path of Tropical Storm Nicholas
Contributors: John C. Moritz, Corpus Christi Caller Times; The Associated Press