Houston.- Tropical Storm Nicolás made landfall in the eastern part of the Matagorda peninsula and was soon downgraded to tropical storm, after hitting the Texas coast early Tuesday morning as a hurricane, dumping more than 12 inches of rain across the same area flooded by Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
Meanwhile in Louisiana flogged also by Nicholas, it left hundreds of thousands of people without power and the potential for life-threatening flash floods across the Deep South.
It was about 15 miles (25 kilometers) south-southwest of Houston, Texas, with maximum winds of 60 mph (95 kph) at 7 a.m. CDT Tuesday, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Nicholas was the 14th named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.
Galveston saw nearly 14 inches (35 centimeters) of rain from Nicholaswhile Houston reported more than 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain, a fraction of what fell during Harvey, which dumped more than 60 inches (152 centimeters) of rain in southeast Texas. over a period of four days.
Storm was moving northeast at 8 mph (13 kph) and the center of Nicholas was expected to move slowly over southeast of Texas on Tuesday and over southwestern Louisiana on Wednesday.
Nicholas, which is expected to weaken into a tropical depression by Wednesday, could dump up to 20 inches (51 centimeters) of rain across parts of central and southern Louisiana.
Much of the coastline of Texas it was under a tropical storm warning that included potential flash floods and urban flooding. The Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, said authorities placed rescue teams and resources in the Houston area and along the coast.
In Houston, officials were concerned that heavy rains could flood streets and flood homes. Authorities deployed offshore rescue vehicles throughout the city and erected barricades at more than 40 places that tend to flood, Mayor Sylvester Turner said Monday.
“This city is very tough. We know what we have to do. We know how to prepare, ”Turner said, referring to four major floods that have affected the Houston area in recent years, including devastating damage from Harvey.
Meteorologist Kent Prochazka of the National Weather Service told The Associated Press early Tuesday morning that winds from Nicholas they downed trees in coastal counties and caused some gas stations to lose awnings.
“Just before making landfall, it abruptly intensified into a hurricane and as it moved inland, the pressures started to build with it. The winds have relaxed slightly and now we are descending to the force of a tropical storm (winds), ”he said.
CenterPoint Energy reported that more than 400,000 customers were without power when the storm passed through Houston.
Numerous school districts along the coast of the Gulf of Texas they canceled classes on Monday due to the incoming storm. The Houston school district, the largest in the state, as well as others, announced that classes would be canceled Tuesday.
The climate threat also closed several COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites in the Houston and Corpus Christi areas and forced the cancellation of a Harry Styles concert scheduled for Monday night in Houston.
A tornado or two may be possible Tuesday along the upper coast of Texas and southwest of Louisiana, according to the weather service.
Nicholas brought rain to the same area of Texas that was hit hard by Harvey, blamed for at least 68 deaths, including 36 in the Houston area. After Harvey, voters approved the issuance of $ 2.5 billion in bonds to fund flood control projects, including the expansion of wetlands.
The 181 projects designed to mitigate future storm damage are in different stages of completion.
But University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy said Monday that he expected Nicholas “to be smaller than Harvey in every respect.”
Nicholas’s concern will be how slowly he moves. Storms are moving more slowly in recent decades and Nicholas could get stuck between two other weather systems, said hurricane researcher Jim Kossin of The Climate Service.
The Governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, declared a state of emergency Sunday night, ahead of the storm’s arrival in a state that is still recovering from last year’s Hurricane Ida and Hurricane Laura and historic flooding.
“The most severe threat to Louisiana is in the southwestern part of the state, where the recovery from Hurricane Laura and the May floods continues,” Edwards said.
It was expected that Storm brought the heaviest rains west of where Ida crashed into Louisiana two weeks ago. Ida has been blamed for 86 deaths across the United States. Across Louisiana, about 95,000 customers were without power Tuesday morning, according to utility tracking site poweroutage.us.
Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach said via Twitter that only four other years since 1966 have had 14 or more named storms by September 12: 2005, 2011, 2012 and 2020.
Read more: Joe Biden Approves Louisiana Emergency Declaration Against Threat of Tropical Storm Nicholas