A flash flood warning was issued as Hurricane Nicholas became a category 1 hurricane as of Monday night. The storm is heading for the same Texas coastal region that was hit hard by Harvey four years ago. Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent a tweet on Sunday evening, asking Texans to “Heed warnings from local officials and be sure to avoid high water.”
Marine warnings are in effect for the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. The National Hurricane Center has also notified the public of the threat of a “life-threatening storm surge inundation” along the coast of Texas from San Luis Pass to Port Aransas, which is reporting 12-foot waves. On Monday, Royal Dutch Shell began evacuating employees from an oil platform in anticipation of hurricane-force winds.
More than 40% of the Gulf of Mexico oil production is still offline after Hurricane Ida, and the new storm’s path will take it over the recovering state of Louisiana. The projected path of the storm has Nicholas passing over northern Louisiana, a state that has recently seen a storm-related death toll of over two dozen in the wake of Hurricane Ida.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said that 119,000 homes are still without power due to Ida, a powerful hurricane that moved through his state on the anniversary of the Katrina disaster. Edwards said, “We want to make sure that no one is caught off guard by this storm,” at a news briefing Monday afternoon. He said heavy rainfall on the already-strained storm drainage system could cause flash floods, and this was a primary cause for concern.