Nicholas Pours More Than 1 Foot Of Rain On Texas Coast
This post has been updated.
Nicholas was upgraded to a hurricane on Monday evening, and has since been downgraded back down to a tropical storm. It dumped about 12 inches of rain along Texas' coast according to reports from the Associated Press.
The storm is now expected to slowly move over southeastern Texas, eventually making its way to Louisiana over the next two days.
Tropical Storm Nicholas is expected to make landfall Monday night, potentially near hurricane status, on the mid to upper Texas coast. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for the storm.
Abbott told Texans Monday Nicholas will not be a hurricane, but rather a “substantial water event.”
“It will be a slow moving storm that will move across the state of Texas that will linger for several days and will drop a tremendous amount of rainwater,” Abbott said after meeting with the Texas Department of Emergency Management.
The governor also announced that Texas Task Force One has deployed at least six swiftwater boat squads, two water group supervisors and four helicopter squads in order to assist with any rescue and relief operations. Abbott advised residents in the 17 counties affected by the storm to pay close attention to updates from local officials.
The National Hurricane Center reports heavy rainfall will impact portions of the Texas and Louisiana coasts through the middle of the week, potentially resulting in life-threatening flash flooding in metropolitan areas. There is also the danger of a life-threatening storm surge from Port Aransas to Sabine Pass. Warnings and watches are posted along the Texas coast.
Corpus Christi has seen a windy, rainy day.
"We had just over 3 inches of rain actually today alone and we could easily see another couple inches of rain on top of that. But so long as it keeps tracking to out to our east we should not be seeing as much as a significant rainfall threat here," said Matt Ziebell, lead forecaster with the National Weather Service at Corpus Christi.
At least half a foot of rain is expected along the mid to upper Texas Coast from Corpus Christi to Houston with higher rainfall amounts in some isolated areas.
Ziebell said high winds could cause power outages. Winds were forecast to gust to near 40 mph in Corpus Christi this afternoon.
"Right know, we're telling residents there is potential there for some scattered power outages because there will be several hours of these kinds of winds picking up," he said.
The City's Emergency Operations Center reports barricades have been positioned near the Marina, North Beach, Flour Bluff and Las Colonias near La Volla Creek.
High water rescue vehicles have also been staged near areas prone to flooding, and city crews cleared street drains.
Corpus Christi city officials offered sandbags to residents over the weekend as long as supplies lasted. Residents were also encouraged to wait until morning to put out trash carts due to high winds and flooding. Communities on the coast are preparing for flooding. Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales encouraged residents to take necessary precautions.
“While we are taking immediate action on the beach, heavy, extended rainfall is possible, and flooding is possible throughout the county. Conditions may change quickly; take action now to protect your property and loved ones," Canales said in a press release.
Scott Tanzer is owner of Port A Beach Buggies in Port Aransas near Corpus. He said some businesses have shut down early in advance of the storm and are preparing for high winds and flooding.
“We are expecting some coastal flooding which is pretty popular around here because we’re on a sandbar, so our town, when hit that driving rain that’s the 1, 2, 3 inches per hour we do flood," Tanzer said. "But town drains off pretty quickly once its stops, especially the main drag of town called Alister street. It drains off pretty well.”
The San Antonio area is predicted to receive rain as well, with the highest chances of precipitation on Monday and Tuesday.
Jerry Clayton contributed to this story.