Nicholas continued moving inland across South Texas Tuesday, dumping rain over the area after making landfall earlier in the morning. The video above shows the aftermath in Sargent Beach, Texas.
According to the National Hurricane Center, as of 5:00 p.m. EST, Nicholas was a tropical storm. It had briefly upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane Monday night before downgrading once it made landfall. It was expected to downgrade to a tropical depression later Tuesday night, and a remnant low by early Thursday.
The NHC said in its 5:00 p.m. advisory the center of Nicholas was located just 50 miles east of Houston. However, the storm was moving away from the city at 6 mph.
The slow movement of Nicholas allowed it to pummel the area with rain. Galveston, Texas, saw nearly 14 inches of rain from Nicholas. Houston reported more than 6 inches of rain. However, weather radar showed the heaviest rain Tuesday afternoon was over southwestern Louisiana, well east of the storm center.
Houston dealt with a lot more than the amount of rain Nicholas dropped before. Back in 2017, Hurricane Harvey dumped more than 60 inches of rain in southeast Texas over a four-day period.
Meanwhile, Louisiana is still reeling from the damage left behind by Hurricane Ida last month. Parts of the state are saturated with nowhere for the rain from Nicholas to go. University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy said this mean there will be plenty of flooding.
“It’s stuck in a weak steering environment,” McNoldy said Tuesday. So even as Nicholas weakens, “that won’t stop the rain from happening,” McNoldy said. “Whether it’s a tropical storm, tropical depression or post-tropical blob, it’ll still rain a lot and that’s not really good for that area.”
As of 5:00 p.m. EST, the NHC predicted Nicholas to drop 5 to 10 more inches of rain across portions of southern and central Louisiana, southern Mississippi, far southern Alabama, and the western Florida Panhandle through early Friday. Some parts of southern Louisiana and the far western Florida Panhandle could see up to 20 inches. The center warns this could lead to life-threatening flash flooding.
More than a half-million homes and businesses lost power in Texas due to Nicholas, but that number dropped to just over 200,000 after 6:00 p.m. EST Tuesday on poweroutage.us, which tracks utility reports. Across Louisiana, just under 89,000 customers remained without power early Tuesday evening.