September 19, 2021

Nicholas strengthens into Category 1 hurricane, threatens Texas with heavy rain

MIAMI — Nicholas has strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane because it approaches Texas.

The storm is prone to strike the identical space hit by Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and storm-battered Louisiana.

Though the system is predicted to generate solely a fraction as a lot rain as Harvey, almost all the state’s shoreline was underneath a tropical storm warning that included potential flash floods and concrete flooding.

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

The system is shifting north-northeast at 10 mph and has most sustained winds of 75 mph.

“This is a storm that could leave heavy rain, as well as wind and probably flooding, in various different regions along the Gulf Coast. We urge you to listen to local weather alerts, heed local warnings,” Abbott mentioned in a video message.

Nicholas is headed towards the identical space of Texas that was hit onerous by Hurricane Harvey in 2017. That storm made landfall within the center Texas coast then stalled for 4 days, dropping greater than 60 inches (152 cm) of rain in components of southeast Texas. Harvey was blamed for not less than 68 deaths.
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.

(*1*) Edwards mentioned.

The storm was anticipated to carry the heaviest rainfall west of the place Hurricane Ida slammed into Louisiana two weeks in the past. Though forecasters didn’t anticipate 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 properties, paralyzed electrical and water infrastructure and left not less than 26 individuals useless.

“There could be several inches of rain across southeast Louisiana, where Ida struck,” Henson mentioned in an electronic mail.

Throughout Louisiana, just below 120,000 prospects remained with out energy Monday morning, in line with the utility monitoring website poweroutage.us.

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

“Heavy rain, flash flooding appears to be the biggest threat across our region,” he mentioned.

Whereas Lake Charles acquired minimal impression from Ida, 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 are still a very battered city,” Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter mentioned.

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

“Hope and prayer is not a good game plan,” Hunter mentioned.

In Cameron Parish in coastal Louisiana, Scott Trahan remains to be ending repairs on his residence broken from final 12 months’s Hurricane Laura that put about 2 ft 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.

“If you get your butt whipped about four times, you are not going to get back up again. You are going to go somewhere else,” Trahan mentioned.

Colorado State College hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach mentioned by way of Twitter that Nicholas is the 14th named storm of 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. Solely 4 different years since 1966 have had 14 or extra named storms by Sept. 12: 2005, 2011, 2012 and 2020.

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Related Press author Jill Bleed in Little Rock, Arkansas, contributed to this report.