- 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 early Tuesday, crashing into land along the Matagorda Peninsula with torrential rains and storm surges and threatening to envelop much of the deep south in ‘floods.
The storm’s winds eased slightly as it passed through land, and Nicholas was a tropical storm Tuesday morning with sustained winds of 70 mph. The center of the storm was just 30 miles southwest of Houston.
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 that storm. 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.
More than 360,000 Texas homes and businesses were without power as of Tuesday morning. Nearly 100,000 more were gloomy in Louisiana, although the vast majority of that blackout was a holdover from the devastation from Hurricane Ida two weeks ago.
Hurricane Nicolas: Storm brings strong winds, threatening precipitation on the Gulf Coast
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.
“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.
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.
Matagorda had received more than 5 inches of rain early Tuesday.
Tropical storms: Hurricane C monitors 2 other systems in the Atlantic
“Heavy rains will persist in Southeast Texas and continue to spread to Louisiana,” said Adam Douty, senior meteorologist at AccuWeather.
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 the path of Tropical Storm Nicholas
Contribution: John C. Moritz, Corpus Christi Caller Times