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A street flooded after Tropical Storm Nicholas moved through Galveston, Texas, on Tuesday. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Southwest Louisiana faces a "high risk" of flash flooding from Tropical Depression Nicholas on Wednesday morning, the National Weather Service warned.

Why it matters: Such "high risk" outlooks are rarely issued anywhere in the U.S. There's also a medium risk of flash-flooding in New Orleans, which is still reeling from Hurricane Ida striking the state last month.

The flood warning zone covers more than half of Louisiana. Photo: National Weather Service/NOAA

Our thought bubble: The alert is due to the former hurricane slowing down its forward movement. As the bands of rain work east, they're moving into ground more saturated in the wake of Ida — which raises the risk of flash flooding in the rest of Louisiana as well as parts of Mississippi.

Threat level: Rain from the slow-moving storm was expected to produce 5 to 10 inches of rainfall across parts of southern and central Louisiana, southern Mississippi, far southern Alabama, and the western Florida Panhandle through early Friday, the NHC said late Tuesday.

  • Isolated storm totals of 20 inches were possible from southern Louisiana to the far western Florida Panhandle.
  • "Life-threatening flash flooding impacts, especially in urban areas, are possible across these regions," the NHC warned.

By the numbers: More than 125,000 customers were without power in Texas and over 75,000 others in Louisiana had no electricity on Wednesday morning, according to the utility tracking site poweroutage.us.

The big picture: Nicholas made landfall near Sargent Beach, Texas, as a Category 1 hurricane early on Tuesday.

  • It later weakened to a tropical depression, but continued to dump heavy rains on the Houston metro area as it slowly moved its way over southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper

Linh Ta, author of Des Moines
Updated Dec 16, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

Historic storm leaves path of damage across Iowa

Computer model projection of surface temperature departures from average on Wednesday afternoon. Image: Weatherbell.com

A monstrous line of thunderstorms rapidly moved across a large swath of Iowa Wednesday evening, creating severe weather threats never before recorded in the state in December.

Driving the news: The National Weather Service had only ever issued two tornado warnings in Iowa in December prior to this week, according to tornado researcher Harold Brooks. On Wednesday, forecasters issued more than a dozen in the state.

  • At least five tornadoes were sighted in western Iowa, while destructive gusts were recorded up to at least 80 miles per hour. One person died in the storms in Benton County, per Iowa State Patrol.

NASA estimates Tonga volcano exploded with force of 5-6 megatons

A satellite image of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano on Dec. 24, before the eruption. Photo: Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies

NASA scientists estimate the power of Tonga's volcanic eruption over the weekend to have been 5-6 Megatons of TNT equivalent.

Threat level: Saturday's eruption of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Haʻapai volcano and subsequent tsunami killed at least three people. Scientists warn an "ash-seawater cocktail" poses a potentially toxic health threat, and drinking water could be contaminated.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

New York AG alleges "significant evidence" of Trump Organization fraud

Combination images of former President Trump and New York State Attorney General Letitia James. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images; Scott Heins/Getty Images

New York's attorney general filed a motion Tuesday seeking to compel former President Trump and his two elder children to appear for sworn testimony in her office's civil investigation into the Trump Organization's financial dealings.

Why it matters: Attorney General Letitia James revealed new details in the court filing and a statement on her office's investigation into the Trump Organization's business practices, including a preliminary finding alleging the company used "fraudulent and misleading asset valuations to obtain economic benefits."