Tropical Storm Nicholas It weakened this Tuesday as it advanced towards the interior of the state of Texas, where it made landfall earlier as a hurricane before being downgraded by American meteorologists.
In its last bulletin, at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) explained that Nicholas, with 110 km / h winds, should move slowly towards the northeast, before passing through Louisiana on Wednesday, already hit days ago by Hurricane Ida.
Nicholas should continue to weaken before turning into a tropical depression on Wednesday.
The NHC forecasts rainfall of 5 to 10 inches over the Texas coast and northern Louisiana. But they could reach up to 50 centimeters in central and southern Louisiana.
“Nicholas may cause tidal surges across the southern United States in the coming days,” the agency said.
Nicholas, a tropical storm that gained Category 1 hurricane strength in the Gulf of Mexico with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, had made landfall in Texas around 5:30 a.m. At the time, meteorological authorities had warned of dangerous rains, storm surges and flooding, particularly in urbanized areas such as Houston, the main city in Texas.
The NHC had also issued a storm surge warning for much of the Gulf Coast, which means that “there is a danger of fatal flooding due to the rise of the water that moves towards the interior of the coast”.
“This it is a life threatening situation“Said the center, and alerted people in the area to take” all necessary measures to protect life and property from flooding and other potentially dangerous conditions. “
Videos shared on social media showed violent winds and heavy rain, even causing the roof of a Citgo gas station to be knocked down. Houston, which was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey in 2017, was on high alert, said its mayor, Sylvester Turner.
“I urge everyone to stay off the roads at sundown and avoid driving tonight until tomorrow as we anticipate heavy rain,” Turner posted on Twitter Monday.
Authorities erected barricades, activated the Houston emergency management office and asked residents to take precautions.
The imminent arrival of the storm forced cancellation of many flights at Houston-area airports and the navigation channel of the busy port of this city was also closed, said a spokesman for the agency that directs the ships through the inland waterway.
The schools closed on Monday afternoon in the entire storm-affected area and will remain closed on Tuesday, according to authorities. President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency in Louisiana on Monday, already hit by Hurricane Ida, which killed 50 people in the United States in late August and early September.
The governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, urged the inhabitants of the state to respect the directives of the local authorities. “It is up to all Texans in the trajectory of this storm take precautions, heed the guidance of the authorities and remain vigilant as this severe weather moves over Texas, “he said in a statement.
This state is no stranger to hurricanes, but scientists warn that climate change is increasing in intensity and putting coastal populations at risk. The coastlines suffer floods, which have been worsened by rising sea levels.