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Tropical Storm Nicholas threatens Gulf Coast with heavy rain

Tropical Storm Nicholas headed towards the Texas coast Sunday night time, threatening to convey heavy rain and floods to coastal areas of Texas, Mexico and storm-battered Louisiana.

Forecasters on the Nationwide Hurricane Heart in Miami mentioned a hurricane watch was issued for the central portion of the Texas coast with a lot of the state’s shoreline now beneath a tropical storm warning. Nicholas is predicted to method the center Texas coast late Monday and will convey heavy rain that might trigger flash floods and concrete flooding.

Nicholas over a number of days is predicted to provide complete rainfall of as much as 10 inches (25 centimeters) in Texas and southwest Louisiana, with remoted most quantities of 20 inches (50 centimeters), throughout parts of coastal Texas starting Sunday night time by way of midweek.


This satellite image provided by NOAA shows Tropical Storm Nicholas in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021. (NOAA via AP)

This satellite tv for pc picture supplied by NOAA reveals Tropical Storm Nicholas within the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021. (NOAA through AP)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott mentioned the state has positioned rescue groups and assets within the Houston space and alongside the Texas Gulf Coast.

“It is a storm that might go away heavy rain, in addition to wind and possibly flooding, in numerous totally different areas alongside the Gulf Coast. We urge you to take heed to native climate alerts, heed native warnings,” Abbot mentioned in a video message.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards on Sunday night time declared a state of emergency forward of the storm’s arrival in a state nonetheless recovering from Hurricane Ida and final 12 months’s Hurricane Laura and historic flooding.

“Essentially the most extreme risk to Louisiana is within the southwest portion of the state, the place restoration from Hurricane Laura and the Could flooding is ongoing. On this space heavy rain and flash flooding are attainable. Nonetheless, it is usually possible that every one of south Louisiana will see heavy rain this week, together with areas not too long ago affected by Hurricane Ida,” Edwards mentioned.

At 11 p.m. EDT, the middle of the storm was forecasted to go close to or simply offshore the coasts of northeastern Mexico and South Texas on Monday, and hit south or central Texas on Monday night time or early Tuesday. Its most sustained winds have been clocked at 40 mph (65 kph) and it was transferring north at 2 mph (four kph), although it was anticipated to extend in pace early Monday. Gradual strengthening is feasible till it reaches the coast Monday night time or early Tuesday.

The storm was anticipated to convey the heaviest rainfall west of the place Hurricane Ida slammed into Louisiana two weeks in the past. Though forecasters didn’t count on Louisiana to endure from robust winds once more, meteorologist Bob Henson at Yale Local weather Connections predicted rainfall may nonetheless plague locations the place the hurricane toppled houses, paralyzed electrical and water infrastructure and left at the least 26 folks lifeless.

“There might be a number of inches of rain throughout southeast Louisiana, the place Ida struck,” Henson mentioned in an e-mail.

Throughout Louisiana, 140,198 prospects — or about 6.3% of the state — remained with out energy on Sunday morning, in accordance with the Louisiana Public Service Fee.

The storm is projected to maneuver slowly up the coastland which may dump torrential quantities of rain over a number of days, mentioned meteorologist Donald Jones of the Nationwide Climate Service in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

“Heavy rain, flash flooding seems to be the largest risk throughout our area,” he mentioned.


Whereas Lake Charles obtained minimal impression from Ida, the town noticed a number of wallops from Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Delta in 2020, a winter storm in February in addition to historic flooding this spring.

“We’re nonetheless a really battered metropolis,” Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter mentioned.

He mentioned the town is taking the specter of the storm critically, because it does all tropical methods.

“Hope and prayer will not be an excellent recreation plan,” Hunter mentioned.

In Cameron Parish in coastal Louisiana, Scott Trahan continues to be ending repairs on his house broken from final 12 months’s Hurricane Laura that put about 2 toes of water in his home. He hopes to be completed by Christmas. He mentioned many in his space have moved as a substitute of rebuilding.

“Should you get your butt whipped about 4 occasions, you aren’t going to get again up once more. You will go some other place,” Trahan mentioned.


Colorado State College hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach mentioned through Twitter that Nicholas is the 14th named storm of 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. Solely four different years since 1966 have had 14 or extra named storms by Sept. 12: 2005, 2011, 2012 and 2020.


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