As it approaches the coast, Tropical Storm Nicholas weakens.
As it came inshore over Texas early Tuesday morning, Tropical Storm Nicholas weakened, and meteorologists downgraded it from a hurricane.
The storm was forecast to dump five to ten inches of rain over the Texas coast and upper Louisiana, with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph (110 kilometers per hour) and higher gusts.
They did warn, however, that there could be isolated instances of 20-inch storm rainfall in central and southern Louisiana.
The US National Hurricane Center reported, “Radar and surface measurements indicate that Nicholas has continued to move slowly inland and has weakened during the past few hours.”
The storm, which hit about 0530 GMT Tuesday, was delivering torrential rain, which could lead to “life-threatening flash and urban flooding,” according to the National Hurricane Center.
It continued, “There is a risk of life-threatening storm surge inundation along the Texas coast from Sargent to Sabine Pass.”
According to the Miami-based observatory, the hurricane’s core was located above the eastern half of the Matagorda Peninsula early Tuesday morning.
Matagorda is located just a few miles southwest of Houston, the state capital of Texas.
As the storm advanced up the coast into Houston, videos published on social media showed ferocious gusts — in one film, a CitGo petrol station roof being flipped over – and torrential rain.
The National Hurricane Center also issued a storm surge warning for parts of the Gulf Shore, indicating that “rising water moving inland from the coast poses a risk of life-threatening inundation.”
“This is a life-threatening situation,” it said, urging residents to “take all essential precautions to safeguard life and property.”
Nicholas, according to the National Hurricane Center, is expected to weaken further and become a tropical depression by Wednesday.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, whose city was ravaged by Hurricane Harvey in 2017, said the city was on high alert.
Barricades have been built, Houston’s emergency management office has been activated, and people have been advised to take extra safety precautions.
Turner wrote, “I advise everyone to be OFF the roads by sundown and to avoid traveling tonight and tomorrow as we anticipate significant rain.”
President Joe Biden issued a state of emergency in Louisiana late Monday, directing all disaster relief efforts to be coordinated by the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Many flights were canceled at Houston-area airports ahead of the storm’s arrival, and the Houston ship channel at its bustling port was blocked, according to a spokeswoman for. Brief News from Washington Newsday.