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Tropical Storm Nicholas Bringing Flood Threat to Texas

The National Weather Service in Lake Charles expects the storm to officially make landfall on the middle Texas coast on Tuesday with the possibility of turning into a Category 1 hurricane targeting the SE Texas.

Tropical storm
(TNS) - Tropical Storm Nicholas' outer rain bands moved ashore as expected Sunday afternoon in Southeast Texas .

The National Weather Service in Lake Charles expects the storm to officially make landfall on the middle Texas coast on Tuesday with the possibility of turning into a Category 1 hurricane targeting the Southeast Texas or southwest Louisiana coast on Wednesday.

But weather expects are telling Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana to focus on the rain, not the wind, with this system.

"The biggest threat is going to be the heavy rainfall with this system," Meterologist Donald Jones with NWS in Lake Charles said in a 4:30 p.m. update Sunday.

Jones said they are confident the large, unorganized system will slow down and stall as it moves inland. The weather experts expect Nicholas to bring 5 to 10 inches of rain, regardless of the development, with some areas seeing as much as 15 to 25 inches throughout the week.

Bursts of heavy rainfall also are expected, which means rainfall totals ultimately could double in some areas depending on the storm, Jones said.

Long durations of heavy rain fall could bring street flooding, which could enter homes and businesses. Additionally, tides will run 1 to 2 feet above normal and winds will be gusty Tuesday and Wednesday, which could cause power outages, NWS said.

"Flooding is definitely going to be a threat," Jones said.

Jones said the area is looking at 1-3 feet of possible storm surge. The storm is currently moving about 14 mph with maximum sustained winds near 40 mph.

While the storm is expected to slow down, Space City Weather Meterologist and Editor Matt Lanza cautions comparison to past major storm events.

"This is not a Harvy by any means," Lanza said in a social media Tweet on Sunday. "As far as Allison or anything else, I don't think this compares. It's a unique storm with unique hazards to itself."

"Yes, flash flooding is possible during this storm," he continued. "Yes, it could be significant flash flooding. But to compare to first ballot hall of fame storms is not reasonable right now. Allison, Imelda , Beta were all tropical storms with unique impacts. Focus on the current forecasts."

NWS Lake Charles will host another Facebook Live briefing at 10:30 p.m. Sunday to discuss Nicholas and its expected impacts across the region.

"The briefings are interactive, and we will answer questions live," Jones said. "Once it begins, the broadcast will appear on our Facebook page listed below. Please share with partners, customers and anyone who may find this information useful. The briefing will be available for additional viewing as a recording once the live broadcast concludes."

Entergy Texas, Inc. also is monitoring and planning ahead of the storm's landfall, which forecasters expect to bring heavy rains, high winds, high tides, and flooding to portions of southeast Texas by midweek.

" Entergy Texas crews and contractors are on alert and will be ready to safely restore power as safely and quickly as possible if needed," Entergy Texas said in a news release.

The City of Nederland will provide up to 10 free sand bags per vehicle or address to residents beginning Monday at 10 a.m. at the rear of Doornbos Park , 2301 Avenue H. Residency will be confirmed by either a driver's license or a utility bill. Residents must bring a shovel and be prepared to fill their sandbags.

"We are asking the public to remove any debris or obstructions that will prevent the flow of rainwater thru a ditch or culvert," City Manager Chris Duque said on Sunday afternoon. "The Monday garbage route will run its normal route tomorrow. We ask people to stop placing additional trash at the curb since this may impact drainage as the weather event progresses this week. The City will continue to provide updates via STAN , the local media, and the City's social media pages."

Due to COVID-19, sand piles will be separated to allow people social distance when filling their bags; people are encouraged to wear a mask. If you have any questions, contact the City Manager's Office at (409) 723-1503, the notice said.

Orange County officials are also providing sand and bags to help residents prepare at the county maintenance barns and at 11897 State Hwy 62 in Mauriceville directly across from Market Basket.

"Residents are welcome to bag the sand to use to protect their home from rising water," Orange County Office of Emergency Management said in a social media post. "Bring your own shovel."

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has placed resources on standby along the Gulf Coast , from Beaumont to the Rio Grande Valley , ahead of potential flooding.

"The State of Texas has deployed resources ahead of this tropical system, which is expected to impact the Gulf Coast beginning on Sunday," Abbott said in the news release. "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."

Activated resources include the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service's six swift water rescue boat squads and eight overhead packages, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game warden boat teams, five of the Texas Military Department's ground transportation platoons with high profile vehicles; and, the Texas Department of State Health Services Texas Emergency Medical Task Force severe weather packages.

Other actions and resources have also been rostered for potential activation if needed, according to the news release.

Those include the Texas A&M Forest Service's Saw Crews and Incident Management Teams, the Texas Department of Transportation with road condition monitoring and prepositioned water-filled barriers, the Texas Department of Public Safety's Texas Highway Patrol (ESF 13) search and rescue aircraft and the Tactical Marine Unit, and the Public Utility Commission with power outage monitoring and coordination with utility providers.

Texans are urged to prepare for flooding and follow safety tips during severe weather events, including by knowing the type of flood risk in your area.

Visit FEMA's Flood Map Service Center for information.

Sign up for your community's warning system. The Emergency Alert System and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA ) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.

Build an emergency supply kit. For more information on how to build a kit, visit: https://www.ready.gov/kit

"Keep important documents in a waterproof container," the release said. "Create password-protected digital copies. Protect your property. Move valuables to higher levels. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves. Consider a sump pump with a battery."

"Be extremely cautious of any water on roads or in creeks, streams, storm drains, or other areas — never attempt to cross flowing streams or drive across flooded roadways and always observe road barricades placed for your protection, the release continued. "Remember, Turn Around Don't Drown."

For more flood safety tips, visit gov.texas.gov/hurricane. Texans can also visit www.TexasFlood.org for resources and tips on how to stay safe during flood events, the release said.

meagan.ellsworth@beaumontenterprise.com

twitter.com/megzmagpie

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(c)2021 the Beaumont Enterprise (Beaumont, Texas)

Visit the Beaumont Enterprise (Beaumont, Texas) at www.beaumontenterprise.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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