Nicholas Updates: Rain Hampers Ida Recovery Efforts; State Offices Closed Wednesday in Louisiana | The Weather Channel – Articles from The Weather Channel

  • Street flooding has been reported in New Orleans.
  • Homes were damaged in some areas along the Texas coast.
  • Hundreds of thousands of Texans were without power overnight.

Nicholas brought strong winds and torrential rainfall that blanketed streets and damaged homes in Texas as the storm made landfall and moved overland Tuesday and spread into Louisiana.

Hundreds of thousands were without power across Texas after trees and power lines fell.

The storm strengthened into a hurricane just before making landfall near Matagorda, Texas, around 1 a.m. local time. There, wind gusts up to 95 mph and video showed storm surge enveloping coastal roads.

Nicholas was downgraded to a tropical depression Tuesday night, but the threat of dangerous flooding remains as the storm’s remnants slide overland and dump rain in parts of the Southeast, including Louisiana, where the ground is already saturated and many areas still remain. recover from previous storms.

(MORE: Last prediction for Nicholas)

These were the latest updates as the storm continued to move inland on Tuesday evening:

State offices closed in Louisiana on Wednesday

Governor John Bel Edwards announced that state offices Closed in 38 of the state’s 64 parishes on Wednesday.

Heavy rain hampers Hurricane Ida recovery

Parts of southeastern Louisiana were just beginning to make headway in clearing Hurricane Ida when Nicholas came.

Nicholas’ heavy rainfall on Tuesday forced utilities and contractors in some areas to stop working and caused residents to rush to protect their homes.

“Everything was cleaned and washed, and then this happens,Bridget McDowell, who lives west of New Orleans in the Jefferson Parish town of Kenner, told “What’s the next storm?”

McDowell rushed home Tuesday to help her brother-in-law secure tarps on her house as water trickled in.

A program by the US Army Corps of Engineers to install sturdier tarps on roofs has been slow to get off to a slow start, and officials warned earlier in the week that it could be temporarily sidelined by Nicholas’s weather.

Approximately 49,000 of the program’s 54,000 applicants have approved so far, according to the COE. Of these, 779 were installed on Tuesday morning,

Street Floods Reported in New Orleans; Road closures continue in Texas

There were 10 reports of flooded streets in New Orleans as of about 4:02 p.m., according to the city’s website tracking street conditions. Two underpasses were closed.

In Texas, Beach Road in Matagorda was expected to be Closed according to the State Department of Transportation until at least 9 a.m. Wednesday morning. The road was damaged and power lines had crossed the road.

Nicholas made landfall early Tuesday morning near Matagorda.

A portion of Interstate 45 at exit 7 near Galveston also remained closed Tuesday afternoon.

How to find open shelters

According to the American Red Cross, several shelters were opened in South Texas and Louisiana.

Anyone in the affected areas who needs a safe place to stay should visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767) or download the free Red Cross Emergency shelter site app, according to a press release from the organization.

In addition, people in Louisiana can call 211, text LASHELTER to 898-211, or text NOLAREADY to 77295.

Everyone in Red Cross emergency shelters is required to wear a face covering. Health screenings, social distancing and other COVID-19 protocols are in effect.

Shelters operated by the state, province, or other agencies are subject to local mask mandates and other policies.

Click here to read more about the COVID-19 rules in shelters.

Power Outages Reducing Significantly in Texas

About 255,000 homes, businesses and other utilities were: without power from 3:10 p.m., according to That number is about half what it was in the first few hours after Nicholas landed.

Most of the power outages occurred in areas outside of Houston, especially in the south along the coast.

There was no set timeline, but preliminary damage estimates did not indicate massive, ongoing power outages.

“There aren’t a lot of fallen trees, but there are a lot of downed limbs and branches,” Francisco Sanchez of the Harris County Office of Emergency Management told Houston Public Media. “So what that tells us is that the restoration needs to go a lot smoother. It’s not like a situation in Louisiana where you let the huge towers collapse.”

Millions of people were left in the dark after Hurricane Ida caused catastrophic damage to electricity infrastructure in southeastern Louisiana just over two weeks ago. There are still about 96,000 homes and businesses without electricity.

Drone footage shows damaged houses, flooded streets

Roads were flooded and homes damaged in Sargent Beach, Texas, near where the storm made landfall.

Aerial footage taken Tuesday morning shows water around houses and other structures, missing parts of roofs and heavy equipment clearing debris.

The storm also crumpled carports and canopies at gas stations across the region. Click here to see more.

Huge alligator wandered into Interstate 10 . during storm

A Facebook post from Gator Country in Beaumont, Texas, tells the story of an alligator that had to be rescued from a nearby highway.

“4 hours wake up call of Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. “Gary, there’s a 10ft. alligator on I-10 with Major Dr. Traffic has stopped as far as College St.’”

The post goes on to say, “I think the alligator was trying to evacuate. We got it.”

Coastal Texas Resident: “It Sounded Like a Shotgun”

Kenneth Miller, who lives in Seabrook, Texas, on the shores of Galveston Bay, about 25 miles southeast of Houston, described what he saw and heard as Nicholas walked through it.

“The transformers across the street started blow out. It was a bit like fireworks,” Miller told KIAH-TV. “It sounded like a shotgun, a 12-gauge shotgun.”

Miller also felt the storm.

“The house rocked a bit,” he said.

Lake Charles on the edge

In Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, schools were closed and government offices closed on Tuesday, where residents and officials of storm-ravaged Lake Charles kept a close eye on the weather.

Up to 20 inches of rain was forecast in some areas.

“The number one concern with any weather event is always the protection of life,” Mayor Nic Hunter told The Weather Channel on Tuesday afternoon. “We want our residents to be safe.”

But the city is still recovering from a string of bad weather, including last year’s hurricanes Laura and Delta, an ice storm in February and extreme flooding in May. Blue tarps still cover many roofs, and the iconic 22-story Capital One office tower still stands uninhabited, with most of its windows blown out.

“We’ve run through the ringer for the past year,” Hunter said.

Heavy rain forecast as Nicholas heads inland

Nicholas will bring heavy rainfall to many areas that are already experiencing an unusually wet year.

“This is a long-term event in an area that is quite saturated,” said meteorologist Jonathan Erdman.

Some of those areas also still have huge piles of fallen tree branches and other storm debris, roofs covered in blue tarps and ditches, and municipal drainage systems clogged with debris.

As Nicholas moves across the country, heavy rains are likely to fall in Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida panhandle in the coming days.

Click here for the full forecast.

Roads Flooded in Southern Texas, Louisiana

Several roads were under water or closed due to flooding. The Texas Department of Transportation reported more than a dozen flood incidents from about 12:15 a.m. CDT. Most of these were near the state line in the Beaumont-Orange-Port Arthur areas.

Travelers were advised to avoid sections of Interstate 45 near Galveston. Water also covered part of Interstate 10 in Houston.

In Louisiana, LA-347 was Closed in either direction at Lafayette between LA-328 and LA-678.

Biden Approves Louisiana Disaster Declaration

President Joe Biden approved a federal disaster declaration for Louisiana Monday night. Governor John Bel Edwards had requested the move to clear the way for federal assets helping to clear up Hurricane Ida in southeastern Louisiana to move to other parts of the state if necessary.

The statement also opens up federal funding and other resources from FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security.

Hundreds of thousands are losing power

According to, more than 500,000 customers lost power in Texas when Nicholas pushed inland.

At noon CDT, the number stood at just over 432,000.

Among the provinces hardest hit by outages Brazoria and Matagordawhere Nicholas came ashore. More than half of the pantographs in Brazoria and about 87% of those in Matagorda are without electricity.

Power officials told ABC 13 it could take up to seven days for power recovery, but that they expected it to be restored much sooner.

High water on roads in the Houston area

More than a dozen roads in the Houston area were flooded early Tuesday morning, including parts of Interstate 45.

Debris from Hurricane Nicholas piled up near a street sign in San Luis Pass, Texas on Tuesday, September 14, 2021.  (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Debris from Hurricane Nicholas piled up near a street sign in San Luis Pass, Texas on Tuesday, September 14, 2021. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

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