Tropical Storm Nicholas closes in on Texas, school canceled in Houston


Nicholas will likely remain in Texas from Monday to Wednesday.

Tropical Storm Nicholas is closing in on Texas where a hurricane watch has been issued south of Galveston and schools have been canceled in Houston.

Nicholas, now churning with 60 mph winds, could strengthen to a hurricane when it makes landfall Monday night between Corpus Christi and Galveston (hurricanes have 74 mph or higher winds).

Heavy rain, flash flooding, dangerous storm surge, isolated tornadoes and gusty winds are expected in Texas and Louisiana.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo warned Monday afternoon, “We could get 10 to 15 inches of rain over the next 24 hours or so — and that would be very, very concerning.”

Nicholas is slow moving and will likely remain in Texas from Monday to Wednesday.

Rainfall totals will be the highest around Galveston, where over 10 inches is possible.

Storm surge could be as high as 5 feet south of Galveston.

For Houston, the heaviest rain will be Monday night when flash flooding is possible.

Schools in Houston will be closed on Tuesday.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner in a tweet urged residents to stay off the roads.

On Tuesday, Nicholas is forecast to bring heavy rain to eastern Texas and into Louisiana. By Wednesday, some of the heavy rain will begin to reach New Orleans.

In Louisiana, where residents are still recovering from the devastating hurricanes Laura and Ida, Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency.

The rainfall could be as intense as 2 inches per hour, with a total 5 inches of rain possible.

“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. In this area heavy rain and flash flooding are possible,” the governor said in a statement. “However, it is also likely that all of South Louisiana will see heavy rain this week, including areas recently affected by Hurricane Ida. This tropical storm has the potential to disrupt some power restoration and recovery work currently underway.”