Tropical Storm Nicholas has slowed down near Houston on Tuesday after blowing ashore the state of Texas as a hurricane. The storm knocked out power to a half-million homes and businesses and dumped more than a foot (30.5 centimeters) of rain along the same area swamped by Hurricane Harvey in 2017, according to media reports.
Nicholas could potentially stall over the already storm-battered Louisiana and bring life-threatening floods across the Deep South over the coming days, the Associated Press reported quoting forecasters.
Nicholas made landfall early on Tuesday as a hurricane on the eastern part of the Matagorda Peninsula and was soon downgraded to a tropical storm. It was about 30 miles (55 kilometers) southeast of Houston, with maximum winds of 40 mph (65 kph) as of 1 pm CDT on Tuesday, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Nicholas caused nearly 14 inches (35 centimeters) of rain in Galveston, Texas while Houston reported more than 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain. This amount of rain, though large, is just a fraction of what fell during Harvey, which dumped more than 60 inches (152 centimeters) of rain in southeast Texas over a four-day period. It is the 14th named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.
More than a half-million homes and businesses had lost power in Texas, but that number dropped to about 375,000 by midday on Tuesday, according to the website poweroutage.us that tracks utility reports. Most of those outages were caused by powerful winds as the storm moved through overnight, utility officials said. Across Louisiana, about 100,000 customers remained without power Tuesday midday.
Nicholas brought rain to the same area of Texas that was hit hard by Harvey, which was blamed for at least 68 deaths, including 36 in the Houston area. After Harvey, voters approved the issuance of $2.5 billion in bonds to fund flood-control projects, including the widening of bayous. The 181 projects designed to mitigate damage from future storms are at different stages of completion.
(With AP inputs)