Tropical storm Nicholas weakens as it heads inland

Date: 2021-09-14 04:49:14

Tropical storm Nicholas weakened as it moved inshore over Texas early Tuesday morning, with meteorologists downgrading it from a hurricane.

The storm has maximum sustained winds of 70 mph (110 kilometers) per hour, with higher gusts, and was expected to dump five to 10 inches of rain over the Texas coast and upper Louisiana, weather officials said.

“Radar and surface observations indicate that Nicholas has continued to move slowly inland and has weakened during the past few hours,” the US National Hurricane Center said.

“There is the danger of life-threatening storm surge inundation along the coast of Texas from Sargent to Sabine Pass,” it added.

Matagorda is just a few miles southwest of Houston, Texas’s largest city.

The NHC also issued a storm surge warning for much of the Gulf coast, meaning “there is a danger of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline.”

The NHC said Nicholas should weaken further, and is set to become a tropical depression by Wednesday.

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.

Ahead of the storm’s arrival many flights were canceled at Houston-area airports, and the Houston ship channel at its busy port was closed, said a spokesman for the agency that steers ships through the waterway.

Customers rushed to gas stations and supermarkets across the region to fill fuel tanks and stock up on bottled water, toilet paper, and perishables such as milk and eggs.

Coastlines are already suffering from flooding, which has been amplified by rising sea levels.

“It is up to all Texans in the path of this storm to take precautions, heed the guidance of officials, and remain vigilant as this severe weather moves through Texas,” he said in a statement.

Originally published as Tropical storm Nicholas weakens as it heads inland

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