Towns along the Gulf Coast pummeling by torrential rainfall and strong gusts overnight awoke to discover limited damage as a fading Tropical Storm Nicholas chugged slowly approached Louisiana on Tuesday morning.
On Tuesday morning, about 500,000 consumers in coastal regions were still without electricity. Roadways across the region were cluttered with debris. However, there were no reports of fatalities or significant property damage, according to emergency personnel.
Matagorda County Constable Ricky Bort said that“If it’s your property, you’re going to call it major damage. But overall, when you look at the community, I think we fared well.”
Nicholas made landfall in Matagorda County as a Category 1 hurricane. The National Weather Service first stated that Nicholas dumped more than a foot of rain on Galveston on Tuesday morning, but that figure was eventually reduced down. A-League City meteorologist told The Texas Tribune that the coastal portions of Texas surrounding Galveston received closer to 6 to 9 inches of rain.
As per a late-morning NWS update, Harris County, which includes Houston, received between 3 and 6 inches of rain. According to an NWS report, 9.85 inches of rain fell in Deer Park.
Galveston Mayor Craig Brown told the Daily News that the damage was mostly restricted to trash and flooding in areas of town that usually flood.
Brown said that “What caught us a little by surprise was the speed of the winds. They were a little heavier with more force than we thought.”
During a Tuesday morning press conference, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said the storm was more of a wind event than a rain event in Houston, however, the wind damage was minimal. According to Hidalgo, no fatalities or injuries have been reported in Harris County as a result of the storm.
Since it made landfall overnight, Nicholas has weakened dramatically. As of 10 a.m., the storm’s maximum sustained winds had dropped to 45 mph, down from 60 mph a few hours earlier. Nicholas is expected to be downgraded from a tropical storm to a tropical depression by Tuesday night, according to the National Weather Service.