Southeast Texans told to prepare for TS Nicholas

Tropical Storm Nicholas, as seen in satellite imagery from NOAA, approaches the Texas Gulf Coast on Monday.

All eyes are on the Gulf of Mexico today as Tropical Storm Nicholas continues to edge closer to the Texas shoreline.

While the storm system may not pack the punch of a Category 4 or 5 hurricane, there is still the threat of a life-threatening storm surge along the coast and the storm could still drop a considerable amount of rain, causing flash flooding, particularly in highly urbanized metropolitan areas, according to the latest information from the National Hurricane Center.

In Liberty County, storm surge is not an issue; however, what is a concern are flooding rains. Tropical Storm Imelda in 2019 dropped 40 inches of rain, causing catastrophic flooding across Southeast Texas.

Krista Beasley-Adams, coordinator of the Liberty County Office of Emergency Management, said that predictions associated with Nicholas currently suggest that Liberty County may see 10-15 inches of rain.

“There is a high over Louisiana that is supposed to move down over the Gulf. Depending on how fast that high moves across the area will be a factor in whether or not Tropical Storm Nicholas passes over us quickly or stalls out. If the storm stalls out over us, that would mean more rain,” she said. “Fingers crossed and praying that there is no stall.”

She expects to have more details about weather forecasts later Monday morning after participating in a conference call with regional weather experts.

“The center of the storm keeps changing, which has made it harder to track. They say that the majority of the storm will be seen tonight and tomorrow. There will be times of heavy rainfall during those periods with breaks in the rain periodically,” she said.

As hurricane season continues through Nov. 30, and Southeast Texas typically sees some of its worst hurricanes during September, residents should continue keeping up with their emergency kits, which includes having enough food, water, pet supplies and medications on hand to survive for a few days.

If you encounter water covering a roadway, do not attempt to drive through it. It takes only a few inches of water to float a vehicle off the road and into floodwaters.

For a complete list of items that should be in your emergency kit, go online to https://www.ready.gov/kit.

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