UPDATED 8:12 PM PT – Tuesday, September 14, 2021
More than half-a-million people are without power and the Deep South is hunkering down as Tropical Storm Nicholas moves eastward. Nicholas was downgraded to a tropical depression after making landfall in Texas as a Category One hurricane. Heavy rainfall and thunderstorms were already battering the state before the storm struck near Sargent Beach, just an hour south of Houston, early Tuesday morning.
As a result, more than 500,000 customers were without electricity in Southeast Texas and Houston. Kenny Mercado, the Executive Vice President of CenterPoint Energy, assured they are committed to restoring service to customers as safely and quickly as possible.
“However, patience will be important as some areas of our system and equipment may be difficult to reach for our crews due to safety-related issues, such as downed trees,” he explained.
Tropical Storm Nicholas is expected to bring heavy rain & potential flooding over the next three days.
I issued a disaster declaration in 17 counties to ensure Texas has the resources needed to respond.
Follow guidance from local officials & stay safe, Texas. pic.twitter.com/uN7rXZLJYk
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) September 13, 2021
Forecasts predict Nicholas will weaken to a Tropical Depression by Wednesday, however, as it continues moving northeast over Texas and Louisiana. According to the National Hurricane Center, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama could see tornadoes, life-threatening storm surges and more flash flooding in the coming days.
Quick update to note that Nicholas has further weakened to a tropical depression with the 7 PM update. No changes in threats to our area with heavy rainfall of 5 to 10 inches still expected through Thursday. If you encounter high water, find an alternate route. #lawx #mswx pic.twitter.com/ngcsuIizGx
— NWS New Orleans (@NWSNewOrleans) September 14, 2021
This comes as power has not yet been restored in Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Ida. In the meantime, Gov. John Bel Edwards (D-La.) has declared a state of emergency with Joe Biden approving an emergency declaration on Tuesday.
We are far from over with the potential for hazardous weather associated with #TDNicholas. New development will be possible to our west, which will lead to in increase in rain and storms thru early Wed. Isolated tornadoes and flash flooding will be the main risks. #lawx #mswx pic.twitter.com/k7pBB3fd80
— NWS New Orleans (@NWSNewOrleans) September 15, 2021