Nicholas downgrades to tropical depression

SURFSIDE BEACH, Texas, U.S. (AP) – Tropical Storm Nicholas downgraded to a tropical depression Tuesday night after moving slowly over southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana, but continued to dump torrential rains in the area. .

Nicholas made landfall early Tuesday in a Category 1 hurricane, knocking out half a million homes and businesses and dumping more than 30 centimeters (1 foot) of rain across the same area that was hit by the the passage of Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

Nicholas could stagnate over Louisiana and cause dangerous flooding in the extreme south of the state in the next few days, according to forecasters.

At 7 p.m. CT it was located 95 kilometers (60 miles) east-northeast of Houston, with maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour (35 miles per hour), according to the National Hurricane Center ( NHC for its acronym in English). However, weather radar showed that the heaviest rain occurred over southwestern Louisiana, well east of the eye of the storm.

Nicholas was moving east-northeast at 9 km / h (6 mph). The NHC said the storm could continue to decelerate and could even become stationary, and while its winds will gradually decrease, heavy rains and a significant risk of flash flooding will continue along the Gulf of Mexico coast for the next two days.

Galveston, Texas, recorded about 35 centimeters (14 inches) of rain from the Nicholas Pass, while Houston reported more than 15 centimeters (6 inches). That’s a fraction of what fell during Harvey, which dumped more than 60 inches (152 centimeters) of rain on southeast Texas in a span of four days.

Nicholas is moving so slowly that it will dump several inches of rain as it moves over Texas and southern Louisiana, forecasters said. This region includes areas that were already hit by Hurricane Ida a few days ago and devastated by Hurricane Laura last year. Some parts of Louisiana are saturated and there is nowhere for the extra water to go, so it will flood, said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy.

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