Nicholas is slowing to a crawl and threatening to dump up to 20 inches in some parts of Louisiana and other Gulf Coast states

Though Nicholas doesn’t pack the high winds Ida did when it made US landfall on August 29, it is a slow-moving rainmaker that could dump up to 20 inches of precipitation over the next few days.

Dangerous conditions still exist in Houston, city officials warned.

“Power outages mean some streetlights and traffic signals remain out and downed power lines may be on the road and hard to see in the dark,” officials said in a news release.

Much more rain is expected to fall in Louisiana and forecasters predict some areas will see 2 to 3 inches in an hour.

Rainfall totals of 5 to 10 inches — and in some places up to 20 inches — are likely through early Friday in places from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle.

“Life-threatening flash flooding impacts, especially in urban areas, are possible across these regions,” the National Hurricane Center said in its 7:00 p.m. CT advisory.
With its slow movement and heavy rain, Nicholas bears some resemblance to Hurricane Harvey, the Category 4 storm in August 2017 that stalled over the Houston region and dumped 30 to 40 inches of rain over several days. The flooding that ensued claimed the lives of 68 people — the highest hurricane death toll in the state since 1919.

More than 6.2 million people are under flash flood watches that extend from Texas to the Florida Panhandle. More than 700,000 of those people are in the New Orleans area, according to the National Weather Service.

The center of the storm, which made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane early Tuesday, slowed and is expected to stall in Louisiana where it will dissipate.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said the storm is expected to drop some of its heaviest rain in areas impacted by Hurricane Ida.

“I suspect that there will be some of these homes and businesses that have begun to receive power again after Hurricane Ida, they may lose it because of Nicholas, because all of those electric companies have yet to restore the full redundancy and resiliency of their systems,” the governor warned in a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Power was still out for about 95,000 customers Tuesday, and Nicholas could sap critical recovery resources and further damage the state’s vulnerable infrastructure.

Texas man tries to keep store open

Nicholas’ core first came ashore near the eastern part of the Matagorda Peninsula, about 10 miles west-southwest of Sargent Beach, Texas, at about 1:30 a.m. ET Tuesday, packing 75 mph winds.

As of Tuesday evening, Nicholas had knocked out power to about 165,000 customers in Texas, according to

Among those without power was Bart Stanley, whose family has owned Stanley’s General Store in Matagorda, Texas, since 1964. The storm also ripped the canopy off the gas station part of the store, causing the worst damage he’s seen in all that time.

Stanley didn’t know the extent of damage nearby, but he heard from customers that apart from downed trees and lack of power, homes seem to still be intact, he told CNN.

“I came down here to get our store open so that people could get coffee and gas and whatever else they need because there’s no place else for like 30 miles away,” he said.

Texas prepares for heavy downpours

A carport hangs from power lines Tuesday after Tropical Storm Nicholas moved through Houston.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday signed an emergency declaration, warning residents to be prepared for Nicholas as a “substantial water event.” People should be prepared for “extreme high-water events, including flooding and potential damage caused by the rainfall,” Abbott said, adding the system also could spawn tornadoes.

More than 10 inches of rain could fall in parts of south Louisiana by Thursday.
More than 340 flights into or out of Houston’s William P. Hobby and George Bush Intercontinental airports were canceled Tuesday, according to the flight-tracking website FlightAware. All Port Houston terminals were closed Tuesday but would return Wednesday to a normal schedule, according to its official Twitter account.

Louisiana recovery efforts threatened

A state of emergency also was declared in Louisiana.

Nicholas is now a hurricane that threatens the Texas coast with heavy rain and storm surges

Ahead of the storm, the Louisiana National Guard planned staged 80 high water vehicles, 23 boats and 15 aircraft across the southwest and into central parts of the state, Edwards said Monday.

Almost 88,000 homes and businesses in Louisiana were without power Tuesday afternoon, according to
The governor also had solemn news about Ida’s death toll. It increased to 29, according to Edwards, when a 70-year-old man in St. Tammany Parish died due to the heat from an extended power outage. Thirteen deaths in the state are attributable to the heat following the storm.

CNN’s Alisha Ebrahimji, Deanna Hackney, Carma Hassan, Dave Hennen, Gregory Lemos, Raja Razek, Rebekah Riess and Amy Simonson contributed to this report.

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