Some southeastern states could face “deadlyFlash floods, tornadoes and hail over the next few days as Tropical Depression Nicholas continues to hit the Gulf Coast, the National Hurricane Center said Wednesday. Nicholas first made landfall as a hurricane in Texas early Tuesday, just two weeks after Category 4 Hurricane Ida devastated the Gulf Coast.
“It’s a very serious storm,” Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said at a press conference on Tuesday.
Flash flood watches and warnings are in effect in areas along the central Gulf Coast, including parts of southern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southern Alabama and Florida. The National Hurricane Center has also warned of possible tornadoes in these areas.
Nicholas, which reached hurricane strength Monday before weakening after making landfall, still lingers over the Gulf Coast states and is expected to produce additional precipitation ranging from 2 to 5 inches on the central coast from the gulf with secluded areas of up to 8 inches.
“Considerable impacts of flash floods, especially in urban areas, are possible in these regions,” NHC said. “Widespread minor flooding is expected, while moderate and scattered flooding is possible”
The National Weather Service predicted that the storm will continue to slowly drift east over the next few days.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Nicholas was about 30 miles east-northeast of Lake Charles, Louisiana, and was traveling at a speed of about 5 miles per hour. The heaviest rains continue to occur near the coast, the weather service said.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has advised residents of affected areas to travel to heights and watch for weather developments.
“Take action”, the agency noted on Twitter Wednesday. “A flash flood is imminent.”
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency before Nicholas, which is the 14th named storm of the season, made landfall. Texas Governor Greg Abbott also signed a declaration of disaster in 17 counties before the storm.