Although Hurricane Nicholas has weakened, it has left 450,000 Texas homes without power.
Tropical Storm Nicholas weakened as it headed inland on Tuesday, slamming Texas after flooding coastal cities with deadly storm surges and knocking out power to nearly half a million homes in the southern US state.
Nicholas slammed into the Texas coast overnight as a Category One hurricane, wreaking havoc on the coastline before turning its attention to Houston, the state’s largest city.
Early Tuesday, CenterPoint reported that more than 450,000 customers in the area were without power, however that number had reduced to less than 380,000 by late afternoon.
Aside from extensive disruptions, the 2.3 million-strong metropolis mainly escaped harm.
At an emergency operations conference, Mayor Sylvester Turner remarked, “This storm might have been a lot worse for the city of Houston,” noting that no storm-related deaths had been reported in the area.
He went on to say, “I think we did fairly well.”
Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on parts of Houston in 2017.
Turner put the city on high alert Monday, building barricades, activating an emergency management office, closing the Houston ship lane at its busiest port, and telling people to take additional safety precautions, maybe in memory of the destruction four years ago.
Some 400 flights into and out of Houston were canceled, but Turner said the city’s airports will reopen to full operation later Tuesday.
The storm’s maximum sustained winds had dropped to 45 miles per hour (75 kilometers per hour) with stronger gusts as of 10:00 a.m. (1500 GMT), and it was forecast to dump five to ten inches (125-250 millimeters) of rain over the Texas coast and Louisiana, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Despite the fact that Nicholas was expected to be downgraded to a tropical depression by Tuesday night, the National Hurricane Center cautioned that there could be isolated occurrences of 20 inches of rain in regions of southern Louisiana.
“Life-threatening flash floods (are) likely in portions of the Deep South over the next couple of days,” according to the National Weather Service, which added that developed metropolitan areas were also at risk.
Nicholas blasted apart roofs and sent a storm surge across Surfside Beach, Texas, knocking out electricity to the community.
Mayor Gregg Bisso told AFP, “We took a really big punch.”
“We’re cleaning up to restore closed roads,” he explained, adding, “We don’t let anyone in unless they’re a resident.”
As the hurricane proceeded up the coast towards Houston and beyond, videos published on social media showed ferocious winds — in one one, a Citgo gas station roof leans over – and pelting rain.
The NHC also made a statement. Brief News from Washington Newsday.