Tropical Storm Nicholas Heads for Gulf Coast, Threatens Flooding in Areas Recovering From Ida

Tropical Storm Nicholas threatens to bring heavy rain and some possible floods to the Gulf Coast this week—including areas recently devastated by Hurricane Ida.

Although the worst of the storm is expected to hit Texas and western Louisiana—west of the areas hit hardest by Ida—there is a potential for heavy rain and floods as far east as Mississippi, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Nicholas formed over the Gulf of Mexico and was officially upgraded to a named storm Sunday. It is expected to gain strength as it moves north over the Gulf, according to the hurricane center.

Tropical storm conditions are expected to begin Monday along Mexico's northeastern and Texas' southern coasts. Forecasters believe Nicholas will reach the middle Texas coast as a "strong" tropical storm Tuesday.

The storm will bring most areas about five to 10 inches of rain, though some isolated places could receive up to 15 inches. There could be "life-threatening" storm surge along the Texas coast from the mouth of the Rio Grande as far north as High Island—northeast of Galveston.

"Flash flooding is possible over portions of coastal Texas and Louisiana through the middle of the week as Tropical Storm #Nicholas is expected to produce storm total rainfall of 5 to 10 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches across those areas," the hurricane center said in a tweet.

Flash flooding is possible over portions of coastal Texas and Louisiana through the middle of the week as Tropical Storm #Nicholas is expected to produce storm total rainfall of 5 to 10 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches across those areas. https://t.co/tW4KeGdBFb pic.twitter.com/VgzKk7h43H

— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 12, 2021

Meteorologists expected that the storm could still bring several inches of rain to areas where Hurricane Ida left hundreds of thousands without power and destroyed homes, the Associated Press reported.

"There could be several inches of rain across southeast Louisiana, where Ida struck," meteorologist Bob Henson told the AP.

The storm could have a low-end wind threat if it strengthens, and it is expected to move slowly over Texas, Donald Jones, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Lake Charles, said on Facebook Live Sunday morning.

"While it's anywhere in our area, it's just going to be dumping rainfall," he said. "Just copious amounts of rainfall across the area."

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Saturday that resources had been placed on standby along the Gulf Coast ahead of the potential flooding.

"We will continue to closely monitor this storm and take all necessary precautions to keep Texans safe. I encourage Texans to follow the guidance and warnings of their local officials and be mindful of potential heavy rain and flooding," the Republican leader said in a statement.

Nicholas is the 14th named storm of 2021. Only four other years since 1966 have had 14 or more named storms by September 12—2005, 2011, 2012, and 2020, the AP reported.

Parts of Louisiana continued to recover from Hurricane Ida as of Sunday. More than 135,000 people in southeastern Louisiana remained without power, according to poweroutage.us.

Ida made landfall on August 29 and left death and devastation in its path. In total, more than 80 people have now died due to the hurricane, according to CBS News. Over one million people were left without power and buildings were destroyed. Ida eventually made its way north, bringing tornadoes and intense storms to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.

Hurricane Ida
Tropical Storm Nicholas could bring floods and heavy rain to areas devastated by Hurricane Ida. Here, an electrical substation damaged by Ida in Grand Isle, Louisiana is seen September 4. Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images