Tropical Storm Nicholas was moving up the Gulf Coast on Monday, threatening to bring heavy rain and floods to coastal areas of Mexico (the states of Veracruz and Tamaulipas) Texas, and storm-battered Louisiana.
Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Nicholas was strengthening, churning up top winds of 60 mph (95 kph) in a 1 a.m. CDT update. It was traveling north-northwest at 15 mph (24 kph) on a forecast track to pass near the South Texas coast later Monday, then move onshore along the coast of south or central Texas by Monday evening.
A hurricane watch was issued from Port Aransas to Freeport, Texas. Much of the state’s coastline was under a tropical storm warning as the system was expected to bring heavy rain that could cause flash floods and urban flooding.
Rainfall totals of up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) in Texas and southwest Louisiana were expected, with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches (50 centimeters) across portions of coastal Texas from Sunday night through midweek.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the state has placed rescue teams and resources in the Houston area and along the Texas Gulf Coast.
“This is a storm that could leave heavy rain, as well as wind and probably flooding, in various different regions along the Gulf Coast. We urge you to listen to local weather alerts, heed local warnings,” Abbot said in a video message.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards on Sunday night declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm’s arrival in a state still recovering from Hurricane Ida and last year’s Hurricane Laura and historic flooding.
“The most severe threat to Louisiana is in the southwest portion of the state, where recovery from Hurricane Laura and the May flooding is ongoing. In this area heavy rain and flash flooding are possible. However, it is also likely that all of south Louisiana will see heavy rain this week, including areas recently affected by Hurricane Ida,” Edwards said.