(NEW YORK) — Tropical Storm Nicholas is pounding the South with rain after roaring ashore in Texas early Tuesday as a Category 1 hurricane.
In the Houston area, 460,000 customers were without power at the height of the storm early Tuesday, according to CenterPoint Energy. About 300,000 customers saw their power return by Tuesday evening.
Rain totals reached 8 to 9 inches south of Galveston, where flash flooding was reported. Storm surge in Port O’Connor, Texas, was at nearly 4 feet.
The heavy rain is moving from the Houston area into Louisiana and Alabama where flash flood watches have been issued, including in New Orleans. Southern Mississippi could also see heavy rain and flooding.
Slow-moving Nicholas does not bode well for Louisiana, which has already been hard hit by hurricanes this year. The storm is expected to stall in the state early Wednesday, sitting there for days with heavy rain.
At a Tuesday news conference, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards warned that the state can expect rain through the weekend.
Rain will hit the Louisiana cities of Lake Charles, Alexandria and New Orleans Tuesday into Wednesday morning. Morgan City to New Orleans could see very heavy rain and dangerous flooding Tuesday night.
Six to 10 inches of rain is expected from Lake Charles to Baton Rouge to New Orleans. Some spots in southern Louisiana could see up to 20 inches of rain.
By Wednesday the rain will continue in parts of Louisiana while also spreading into coastal Mississippi and Alabama.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards requested a federal declaration of emergency ahead of landfall, which was granted by President Joe Biden.
In a tweet Tuesday, the governor thanked Biden and FEMA “for their help as we respond to this storm while also recovering from Hurricanes #Laura, #Delta & #Ida.”
“It’s vital that we have as many resources as possible to respond to the forecasted heavy rainfall, potential for flash flooding & river flooding across Central & South Louisiana,” the governor continued. “I urge everyone to be prepared.”
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