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Environment

Nicholas Brings Power Outages, Flooding To Texas' Coastal And Bayou Areas

Aftermath of Hurricane Nicholas in Jamaica Beach
@HEATHERGTX
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via REUTERS
Houses stand in flood waters in the aftermath of Hurricane Nicholas in Jamaica Beach, TX, U.S., September 14, 2021, in this screen grab obtained from a social media video.

Tropical Storm Nicholas dumped about a foot of rain throughout the Texas gulf on Monday night and Tuesday morning. The storm was categorized as a hurricane, but has since been downgraded back to a tropical storm.

More than 400,000 Harris County homes were without power on Tuesday morning. Houston Public Media reports that the local provider CenterPoint Energy does not have a timeline as to when power will be restored.

Galveston received about 14 inches of rain, and Houston saw about 6.5 inches. Wind speeds clocked around 45 to 50 mph in the area. Farther southwest near Port O’Connor and Matagorda Bay, winds reached about 75 mph.

Damage has been reported throughout the gulf area, encompassing about 350 miles from South Padre Island to the Rio Grande Valley.

The National Weather Service of Houston has reported that Nicholas is weakening and heavier rains have moved to the east. Flash flood watches and thunderstorm warnings were canceled in the area on Tuesday morning.

Nicholas did reach category 1 hurricane status after midnight on Tuesday according to NWS meteorologist Dan Reilly.

“High winds and surge did end up being fairly significant — along with the rainfall — with mainly coastal areas being affected,” Reilly said.

“As you might expect with the rainfall where it was, there have been some flooding issues along Clear Creek and some of the bayous.”

Most of the flooding in the area was described as minor and not structural, though it’s present on some roadways. Water levels are still high in Taylor’s Bayou on the east side of TX-146.

The NWS of Shreveport, La. reports that as Nicholas weakens it is expected to parallel I-10 into South Louisiana.

“This may lead to heavy rainfall and flash flooding, mainly in our southern counties and parishes across deep East Texas and North Louisiana,” the NWS of Shreveport said on Twitter.

Gov. Greg Abbott declared a disaster declaration for 17 Texas counties in preparation of the storm on Monday.

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