After making landfall early today in Texas as a Category 1 hurricane, Nicholas has now been downgraded to a tropical storm, but the National Hurricane Center says it still can cause extensive damage along the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Nicholas, the 14th named storm of the 2021 season, came ashore just southwest of Houston and is expected to bring up to 20 inches of rain in some areas. While the wind speed has dropped, gusts of 70 mph are possible, the center said. A storm surge also is expected along low-lying regions.
"The storm should move more slowly to the northeast later today and then eastward by Wednesday over Louisiana," the hurricane center said in a 5 a.m. update Tuesday. "Little motion is anticipated on Thursday."
Officials from the Harris County Sheriff's Office, which also covers Houston, reported flooded streets, downed trees and power lines.
The slow-moving storm could add to the potential for flash floods and urban flooding, forecasters noted, adding that floods could continue to be a problem across areas of the deep South during the next few days.
For now, Nicholas is not expected to do the kind of damage that Hurricane Ida did just two weeks ago, but utility crews are still struggling to repair power lines and other infrastructure in Louisiana. The damage has slowed works to restart production at some key resin plants.