Houston Prepares For Tropical Storm Nicholas
Hurricane Harvey was a major disaster for the Texas coastline. It flooded Houston and caused billions of dollars in damage. However, the hurricane was not the worst storm to hit the state. Tropical Storm Bill brought much lighter flooding to the area. Unlike Hurricane Harvey, Tropical Storm Bill did not stay off the coast for very long. Tropical Storm Houston
As Tropical Storm Nicholas moves closer to the Texas coast, the threat of massive floods is expected to increase. The National Weather Service has warned that the storm could bring a storm surge to the southeastern part of the state. This will likely result in flooding and power outages.
On Monday, Tropical Storm Nicholas was about 10 miles south of Houston. It then moved northeastward and downgraded to a tropical storm. However, it is still expected to reach the central coast of Texas by late Monday night. Although the storm will weaken, it will remain a threat to southern Louisiana and Southeast Texas. In addition, the disturbance is expected to bring heavy rainfall to these areas.
Rainfall amounts are difficult to predict. But experts are predicting 2 to 4 inches in the coastal areas of Texas. However, isolated areas can expect 15 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service.
The Harris County Flood Control District reported that about 136,000 structures in the county were flooded. They estimated that one trillion gallons of water were lost in the four-day period. More than 81,000 customers in Southeast Texas were without power. Some dams have been damaged or could break, and some of the bayous have exceeded the banks.
Houston officials and rescue crews are working around the clock to assist people affected by the storm. Mayor Sylvester Turner and county judge Lina Hidalgo are preparing for the possibility of more flooding. Meanwhile, the Houston Emergency Operation Center was staffed at Level 3 to help those who may need assistance.
Several schools in the greater Houston area will be closed on Tuesday. Several after-school programs will also be canceled. Thousands of emergency workers are assisting in the recovery efforts. People are being urged to stay inside and not travel.
Emergency crews are also deploying high-water rescue equipment, and Mayor Sylvester Turner has warned residents to stay off the roads. He said the city will take precautions to make sure there are no tornadoes during the storm.
Those in the southeast region of the Houston area will be at risk for flash flooding. Officials say that if Tropical Storm Nicholas becomes a hurricane, it could produce some of the largest floods to hit the area in many years. Luckily, the Harris County Office of Emergency Management is prepared to handle this disaster.
The National Hurricane Center has been monitoring a small area of disorganized thunderstorms near the northwestern Gulf. That area is expected to drift slowly westward. A tropical depression could form in the area tonight, and move inland early Thursday. The hurricane center says that this disturbance is not expected to have major impacts on the state.