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Tropical Storm Nicholas to Bring Heavy Rain to Texas, Louisiana

BY ALLISON PRANG | UPDATED SEP 13, 2021 11:35 AM EDT

National Hurricane Center warns of flash flooding; Louisiana governor says storm could disrupt some power restoration

Officials in Texas and Louisiana were preparing for Tropical Storm Nicholas, which is forecast to bring rain and strong winds to parts of the Gulf Coast just weeks after Hurricane Ida battered the region and left more than a million without power.

The National Hurricane Center warned the storm could be close to hurricane intensity when it reaches the northwest Gulf Coast later Monday. Life-threatening storm surge could deluge parts of the Texas coast, while substantial rainfall could lead to flash flooding, especially in metropolitan areas, it said. The NHC forecast total rainfall of 8 to 16 inches across some coastal areas of Texas through the middle of the week. Parts of the Houston area will see between 10 and 15 inches of rain.

“Don’t fixate on the specific amounts," the National Weather Service in Houston said on Twitter. “Rainfall rates of 3-4"/hour can throw in a monkey wrench!"

The storm was recently about 45 miles northeast of the mouth of the Rio Grande, and a hurricane watch was in effect for the Texas coast, from Port Aransas to San Luis Pass. Corpus Christi was already seeing maximum sustained winds of 60 miles an hour, the National Weather Service said.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the state had started mobilizing resources over the weekend to help local officials. Some schools in South Texas were closed Monday.

The storm is forecast to move into central and northern Louisiana on Wednesday, with the New Orleans area expected to get anywhere from 2 to 6 inches of rain, according to the NHC. Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency, and said the storm could disrupt some of the power restoration and recovery work currently under way.

Hurricane Ida hit southeast Louisiana on Aug. 29 as a Category 4 storm, leaving more than one million residents without power. While electricity has largely been restored across the state, some areas remain without power and their homes are uninhabitable.

Ida also disrupted oil production in the Gulf of Mexico, and nearly 50% of U.S. offshore oil production remains out of service.

“I encourage anyone who has had recent damage from #Ida, #Laura or other disasters to take necessary measures to protect their home or business from additional harm," Mr. Edwards said on Twitter.

 

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