Tropical Depression Nicholas takes aim at hurricane-battered Louisiana
NEW ORLEANS - Nicholas, now a tropical depression, moved slowly across southeastern Texas into hurricane-battered Louisiana on Wednesday, bringing heavy rain and the possibility of life-threatening floods.
The storm made landfall as a hurricane early Tuesday on the Texas coast, but was quickly downgraded to a tropical storm and later a depression. Forecasters said Nicholas would stall over Louisiana and spread life-threatening floods across the Deep South over the coming days.
Nicholas was expected to bring 3 to 6 inches of additional rainfall to parts of the central U.S. Gulf Coast through Friday, including southeastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, the National Hurricane Center said. It was moving east-northeast at 5 mph Wednesday afternoon.
HOUSTON, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 14: Debris and damaged road construction are left after Tropical Storm Nicholas moved through the area on September 14, 2021, in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
Up to 10 inches of rain was possible in some isolated areas, forecasters said. The New Orleans office of the National Weather Service said late Tuesday that heavy rain and the risk of flooding remained the main threat in the region.
"Remember to turn around, don't drown when you encounter a flooded road," it wrote on Twitter.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards also warned residents to expect flash flooding and to take the storm seriously despite its lack of hurricane status.
"This is a very serious storm, particularly in those areas that were so heavily impacted by Hurricane Ida," Edwards said.
Edwards said Nicholas will complicate an already difficult recovery from Ida in southeast Louisiana. He noted that 95,000 electric customers were still without power more than two weeks after Ida hit. And he said the new storm could mean some who had regained power might lose it again. Homes already badly damaged by Ida were not yet repaired to the extent that they could withstand heavy rain, Edwards added.
Energy companies working to restore power to remaining areas in the state said Wednesday that they were watching Nicholas closely but didn't expect it to affect their restoration times.
Galveston, Texas, recorded nearly 14 inches of rain from Nicholas, the 14th named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, while Houston reported more than 6 inches. Thousands of people also lost power in Texas as the storm moved over the state.
This story was reported from Cincinnati. The Associated Press contributed.