Hurricane Nicholas makes landfall in Texas
Hurricane Nicholas made landfall near Sargent Beach, Texas, Tuesday morning — threatening to bring up to 18 inches of rainfall and flooding to parts of the state and Louisiana, per the National Hurricane Center.
What's happening: Heavy rains, high winds and "dangerous" storm surges were ongoing, said the NHC, confirming just before 2am that the Category 1 hurricane had hit the state. Nearly 200,000 customers had lost power in Texas by 3:30am, per the utility tracking site poweroutage.us.
Threat level: A hurricane warning was in effect from Port O'Connor to Freeport in Texas, and a hurricane watch was issued for Freeport to San Luis Pass in the state.
- Most of the Texas coastline was under a tropical storm warning amid the threat of possible flash flooding and urban flooding.
- Storm surge watches and warnings were in effect in the region, as well as in Louisiana, from Sabine Pass to Rutherford Beach.
- "A tornado or two will be possible today along the upper Texas and southwest Louisiana coast," the NHC said.
State of play: The storm was packing maximum sustained winds of 75mph, as the center of the storm moved about 25 miles west-southwest of Freeport at 2am ET, according to a National Hurricane Center advisory.
- School districts, including Houston's, canceled classes for Tuesday due to the storm. Many COVID-19 testing and vaccination facilities in the city and also Corpus Christi also closed, AP notes.
- The storm forced British singer Harry Styles to cancel his concert, which was due to be held in Houston on Monday evening.
What to watch: "Nicholas is expected to produce storm total rainfall of 6 to 12 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 18 inches, across the upper Texas coastal areas into Wednesday," the NHC said.
- The storm is expected to weaken over the next couple of days as it moves over land, according to the agency.
- "Across interior southeast Texas into southern-central Louisiana and southern Mississippi, rainfall totals of 4 to 8 inches with locally higher amounts near 10 inches are expected into Thursday," the NHC said.
- "This rainfall may produce areas of considerable flash and urban flooding."
Of note: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a state disaster declaration for 17 counties on Monday.
- President Biden on Monday evening approved a disaster declaration for Louisiana, which is still reeling from last month's deadly Hurricane Ida.
Background: Nicholas made landfall some three hours after the National Hurricane Center upgraded it from a tropical storm.
- It formed as a tropical storm in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico on Sunday.
Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.