UPDATE (9/14/21): Nicholas strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane late Monday night, just before making landfall in Texas early Tuesday morning.
The storm made landfall on the eastern part of the Matagorda Peninsula before downgrading back to a tropical storm.
ORIGINAL STORY (9/13/21): Nicholas gained strength as it moved towards the Texas coast Monday. The video above shows some of the scenes as Nicholas approached the town of Matagorda, Texas.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Nicholas was still a tropical storm as of 8:00 p.m. EST. However, a hurricane watch was still in effect in Texas from Port Aransas to San Luis Pass. There was also a tropical storm warning in effect from Baffin Bay to Sabine Pass.
As of 8:00 p.m. EST, the center of Nicholas was about 35 miles south-southwest of Matagorda. It was moving toward Matagorda at just under 12 mph. The hurricane center said Nicholas was expected to make landfall along the central Texas coast later Monday night.
The center reported maximum sustained winds increased throughout the day Monday, up to 70 mph with even higher gusts. If winds increase to 74 mph, the tropical storm would upgrade to a Category 1 hurricane. Nicholas was expected to weaken Tuesday and Wednesday after it moved over Texas.
As for expected rainfall, the center expected Nicholas to drop up to 18 inches of rain in parts of the middle and upper Texas coastal areas through Wednesday. Some of the expected affected areas are the same ones hit by Hurricane Harvey back in 2017. Nicholas was not expected to produce as much rain as Harvey.
But it’s not just Texas that Nicholas is expected to impact. The storm was also expected to drop up to 10 inches in parts of south-central Louisiana and southern Mississippi. Both states are still reeling from the impacts from Hurricane Ida, which hit the Gulf Coast last month, on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Life-threatening flash flooding, especially in metropolitan areas, are possible across portions of the upper Texas Gulf Coast and far southwestern Louisiana. One of those cities could be Houston.
“This city is very resilient. We know what we need to do. We know about preparing,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said.
The potential for minor to isolated moderate river flooding was possible across the entire region.