- Tornado warnings were issued in parts of southern Louisiana early Wednesday.
- Nicholas was downgraded to a tropical depression.
- Some areas could receive 10 inches more rain.
More than 100,000 Texas homes and businesses went without power for a second day Wednesday as the remnants of Hurricane Nicholas slid across the Gulf Coast from Lone Star State to Louisiana, inundating a still shaky region from the wrath of Hurricane Ida less than three weeks ago.
Nicholas, downgraded to a tropical depression with sustained winds of 30 mph, was centered about 35 miles west of Lake Charles, Louisiana, early Tuesday. The storm was heading east at just 3 mph.
“Much of southern and central Louisiana is under surveillance today as #Nicholas crosses the state,” Governor John Bel Edwards tweeted Wednesday. “Stay aware of conditions in your area.”
Earlier, Edwards had warned residents of the state to “take this storm seriously and put themselves in a position to weather it safely.”
Nearly 80,000 utility customers remained without power in Louisiana, where the lights went out for more than a million homes and businesses during Ida’s peak of fury.
Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter said city crews scoured the drainage system to protect it from debris that could cause plugging and flooding. Hurricane Laura hit the city just over a year ago. Then it was Hurricane Delta, then a January frost shattered pipes through the city of nearly 80,000 people just 60 miles east of Beaumont, Texas. A rain storm in May once again inundated homes and businesses.
“With what people have been through for the past 16 months here in Lake Charles, they are very, naturally, discouraged, emotional,” said Hunter. “Whenever we even have a hint of an approaching weather event, people get scared.”
In Pointe-aux-Chenes, 70 miles southwest of New Orleans, Ida ripped off the tin roof of Terry and Patti Dardar’s house, leaving them without power or water. Nicholas’ rains have now soaked the top floor of their home – but it also provided much-needed water for the family, collected in jugs. They poured the water into a large plastic container through a colander, and a pump powered by a generator brought the water inside.
“We don’t have another place,” said Patti Dardar. “It’s our home.”
The National Weather Center has warned that Nicholas, who has already dumped more than a foot of rain in parts of Texas and several inches in parts of Louisiana, is expected to generate another 3 to 6 inches on Louisiana’s central Gulf Coast , Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle through Friday, with isolated additional 10-inch totals possible in some areas.
“Life-threatening flash flood impacts, especially in urban areas, are possible in these areas,” said Alex Lamers, meteorologist in charge of coordinating warnings for the National Weather Service.
Nicholas hits the Texas coast, but weakens in strength: ‘Life-threatening’ flash floods likely in the South
Tornado warnings were issued in parts of southern Louisiana early Wednesday. The storm is expected to gradually dissipate over central Louisiana on Thursday.
Hurricane Nicholas made landfall early Tuesday along the Matagorda Peninsula with torrential rains and a storm surge. The cleanup was in full swing in Texas, where more than 14 inches of rain fell in parts of the Galveston area. Houston was hit with 6 inches, and the city has set up cooling and phone charging centers in areas where the power outages have been prolonged.
Earlier, first responders joined members of the National Guard in rescuing people from flooded homes.
“Texas has deployed whitewater boats, helicopters and large-scale vehicles to assist local authorities in rescue efforts resulting from flooding and high winds,” Governor Greg Abbot said Tuesday. “Emergency shelters have been set up for residents who may be displaced.
Contribution: The Associated Press
Following:Ida is one of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit the United States. But it could have been worse.