Galveston saw nearly 35 centimetres of rain from the storm.

Hurricane Nicholas crawled over the Houston area on Tuesday after making landfall earlier as a hurricane. It knocked out power to half-million homes and businesses and dumping more than 30.5 cm of rain along the same area swamped by Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

Hurricane Nicholas could potentially stall over Louisiana and bring life-threatening floods across the Deep South over the coming days.

Louisiana has already been hit by Hurricane Ida in the past month, making the possible arrival of Nicholas more devastating.

Hurricane Nicholas made landfall early Tuesday on the eastern part of the Matagorda Peninsula and was soon downgraded to a tropical storm.

Hurricane Nicholas

Parts of a roof sitting on top of a car parked at Blessings Tire and Auto Care following Hurricane Nicholas in Bay City, Texas, on Tuesday. (Elizabeth Conley/Houston Chronicle/AP)

It was about 80 kilometres east of Houston, with maximum winds of 65 km/h as of 4 p.m. on Tuesday, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The storm is moving east-northeast at nine km/h. A tropical storm warning remained in effect from High Island, Texas, to Cameron, La.

Galveston, Texas, saw nearly 35 cm of rain from Nicholas, the 14th named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, while Houston reported more than 15 cm of rain. That’s a fraction of what fell during Harvey, which dumped more than 152 cm of rain in southeast Texas over a four-day period.

More Rain To Come

Nicholas is moving so slowly it will dump several inches of rain as it crawls over Texas and southern Louisiana, meteorologists said. This includes areas already struck by Hurricane Ida and devastated last year by Hurricane Laura. Parts of Louisiana are saturated with nowhere for the extra water to go, so it will flood, said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy.

“It’s stuck in a weak steering environment,” McNoldy said Tuesday. So while the storm itself may weaken “that won’t stop the rain from happening. Whether it’s a tropical storm, tropical depression or post-tropical blob, it’ll still rain a lot and that’s not really good for that area.”

Nicholas, expected to weaken into a tropical depression by Tuesday night, could dump up to 51 centimetres of rain in parts of southern Louisiana. Forecasters said southern Mississippi, southern Alabama and the western Florida Panhandle could see heavy rainfall as well.


Published by HOLR Magazine