Date: 2021-09-14 04:07:30
Hurricane Nicholas slammed into the Texas coast early Tuesday morning, with meteorologists warning of life-threatening flooding.
The storm was packing maximum sustained winds of 75 miles (120 kilometers) per hour, and was expected to dump up to 18 inches (around 460 millimeters) of rain in the Houston area, weather officials said.
Earlier, the national monitor warned the storm was bringing “heavy rains, strong winds, and storm surges to portions of the central and upper Texas coasts”.
Between six and 12 inches of rainfall is expected in parts of Texas and western Louisiana. “This rainfall may produce areas of considerable flash and urban flooding,” the center said.
Matagorda is just a few miles southwest of Houston, Texas’s largest city.
“This is a life-threatening situation,” it said, warning people in the area to “take all necessary actions to protect life and property.”
Sylvester Turner, the mayor of Houston — parts of which were devastated by Hurricane Harvey in 2017 — said the city was on high alert.
“I urge everyone to be OFF the roads by sun down and to avoid driving tonight through tomorrow as we anticipate heavy rainfall,” Turner tweeted.
Schools closed Monday afternoon across the storm-affected area and will remain shut on Tuesday, officials said.
Texas is no stranger to hurricanes, but scientists warn that climate change is making the storms more powerful, posing an increasing risk to coastal communities.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott had urged residents to prepare.