Updated Sep 14, 2021 - Science

Hurricane Nicholas makes landfall in Texas

Transmission towers are shown ahead of the Tropical Storm Nicholas on September 13, 2021 in Galveston, Texas.

Weather conditions are seen in Galveston, Texas, ahead of Hurricane Nicholas. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

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.

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