Over 327,000 customers without power in U.S. state of Texas after landfall of Hurricane Nicholas

(Xinhua) 10:48, September 15, 2021

HOUSTON, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- More than 327,000 customers in the south central U.S. state of Texas have been out of power after category 1 Hurricane Nicholas made landfall in the state early Tuesday morning, according to the latest data from U.S. power tracking website PowerOutage.US.

The hurricane, with maximum winds of 75 mph, touched down on the eastern part of the Matagorda Peninsula in the state around 1:30 a.m. ET (0530 GMT) on Tuesday, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Hours after landfall, it was downgraded to a tropical storm with winds of 70 mph, said the NHC.

"Life-threatening flash and urban flooding impacts are possible, especially across portions of the upper Texas Gulf Coast," the NHC warned.

Nicholas is expected to move over southeastern Texas on Tuesday and early Wednesday, and will move over southwestern Louisiana later Wednesday, it said.

Meteorologists at the NHC said Nicholas will be a rainmaker. Across the rest of coastal Texas into southwestern Louisiana, 5-10 inches (around 12.7-25.4 centimeters) of rain are expected.

Parts of the middle and upper Texas coastline will suffer from 8-16 inches (20.3-40.6 centimeters) of rain, and an isolated maximum amount of 20 inches (50.8 centimeters) is possible through the middle of the week, according to a report by media outlet USA Today.

Nicholas is the 14th named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.

A hurricane watch has been in effect for parts of Texas since the weekend. Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed an emergency declaration on Monday, warning Texans to be prepared for "extreme high-water events, including flooding and potential damage caused by the rainfall."

In flood-prone Houston, the largest city of Texas, authorities deployed high-water rescue vehicles throughout the city, and erected barricades at more than 40 locations. Heavy rain with high winds were feared to inundate streets and flood homes in parts of the city.

More than 330 flights into or out of Houston's William P. Hobby Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport have already been cancelled for Tuesday, according to a CNN report. All terminals of the Port of Houston were also closed on Tuesday morning.

The Houston Independent School District and Galveston Independent School District both announced Monday that schools in the areas would be closed Tuesday.

In 2017, Houston was battered by category 4 Hurricane Harvey, which flooded more than 150,000 homes and claimed at least 68 lives, the highest hurricane death toll in Texas since 1919.

Louisiana, where more than 100,000 homes and businesses remain without power two weeks after the landfall of category 4 Hurricane Ida in late August, declared a state of emergency on Sunday.

"The most severe threat to Louisiana is in the southwest portion of the state, where recovery from Hurricane Laura and the May flooding is ongoing," Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said. "In this area, heavy rain and flash flooding are possible."

"However, it is also likely that all of south Louisiana will see heavy rain this week, including areas recently affected by Hurricane Ida," said the governor.

The Ida-related death toll in Louisiana has risen to 28, as two more deaths were confirmed on Monday, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Liang Jun)


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