A half million homes and businesses in the Houston area are without power after Tropical Storm Nicholas dumped a foot of rain on the region (watch above). Winds maxed out at 45 mph, toppling electrical lines, fences, and other infrastructure.
Tropical Storm Nicholas made landfall in Texas early Tuesday, knocking out power and unleashing floods from torrential rain that could drag on for days https://t.co/jTA2VjjOz1 pic.twitter.com/fTYh30FrPc
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) September 14, 2021
Nicholas made landfall early Tuesday near the Matagorda Peninsula as a hurricane but was quickly downgraded to a tropical storm. “Overall, the storm is weakening as it continues to push inland,” said Tim Cady, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Houston. “But conditions are improving.”
— Frank Jelani Jefferson (@_frankjefferson) September 14, 2021
Lina Hidalgo, the top executive in Harris County, which includes Houston, said cleanup crews are already beginning their work.
“Thankfully, thankfully, it became more of a wind event and it is moving out of our region,” she said at a press conference Tuesday morning.
Big wind in Freeport TX with Hurricane Nicholas pic.twitter.com/Vm4uLAaQ9V
— Reed Timmer (@ReedTimmerAccu) September 14, 2021
Live 2-4’ storm surge expected in Matagorda Beach TX as Tropical Storm Nicholas intensifies on approach pic.twitter.com/UT9tl5544c
— Reed Timmer (@ReedTimmerAccu) September 13, 2021
Still, much of the Texas coast is under a flash flood warning. The region was rocked by 2017’s Hurricane Harvey.
— CW39 Hannah Trippett (@Hannah_Trippett) September 14, 2021
Now Nicholas is making a slow crawl towards Louisiana, where Hurricane Ida’s damage is still in plain sight.
The Associated Press reports, “Nicholas could potentially stall over storm-battered Louisiana and could bring life-threatening floods across the Deep South over the coming days.”
Parts of Louisiana are saturated with nowhere for the extra water to go, so it will flood, University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy explained to the AP. Nicholas may drop 20 inches of rain in some areas of the state.
“I know that bracing for another storm while we’re still responding to, and trying to recover from, Hurricane Ida is not the position that we wanted to be in,” Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana said at a news conference on Monday afternoon. “But it is a situation that we are prepared for.”
Nicholas is the 14th named storm of 2021.