Tropical Storm Nicholas roared over Texas on Tuesday, flooding the region affected by Hurricane Harvey in 2017, and left half a million people without electricity.
Nichols made landfall in Texas early morning as a Category-1 hurricane with warnings of heavy rain, strong winds and dangerous tides.
The storm moved slowly inland, dumping more than a foot of rain and bringing maximum winds of 40 mph south of downtown Houston.
Utility company Centerpoint Energy reported Tuesday afternoon that 180,000 customers were without electricity.
Galveston, Texas, received about 14 inches of rain from Nichols, while Houston received more than 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain. Harvey poured more than 60 inches of rain into southeast Texas over a period of four days, The Associated Press informed of.
Category-4 Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas and Louisiana with widespread flooding in August 2017. More than 100 people died in one of the costliest disasters on record.
Mayor Sylvester Turner said Houston emergency response officials deployed high water rescue vehicles and more than 40 locations were prone to flooding.
“This city is very resilient. We know what to do. We are aware of the preparation,” the mayor said.
Forecasters warned that Nichols could bring deadly flooding to parts of Louisiana and the Deep South in the coming days.
Nichols made winds of 75 mph (120 kph) over the Matagorda Peninsula off the southeastern Texas coast early Tuesday, but it soon turned into a tropical storm.
Many schools in the bay were closed due to the oncoming storm. Several COVID-19 testing and vaccination facilities were also closed in the Houston and Corpus Christi areas.
Nicholas is the 14th named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.
The climate crisis is creating conditions that are driving more powerful storms with more rainfall.
While it is unclear whether the climate crisis will mean an increase in the number of storms in the future, scientists have long warned that increased global warming will likely make the storms we experience more devastating.
ocean absorbed more than 90 percent excess heat Greenhouse gas emissions—primarily from the burning of fossil fuels—and that warm water feed into storms.
And as the planet warms, there is more moisture in the atmosphere, which means that storms are more likely to receive a lot of rainfall. Global sea level rise is increasing the risk of storm surge.
President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency for Louisiana on Tuesday and ordered federal aid to supplement local response efforts, the White House said.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk / Texas