Hurricane battered Louisiana braces for Nicholas drenching

Residents of southern Louisiana still recovering from Hurricane Ida just weeks ago were bracing Wednesday for expected heavy rains as Nicholas crawls across parts of the state from Texas.

Nicholas made landfall as a hurricane early Tuesday on the Texas coast, dumping heavy rain even though it was quickly downgraded to a tropical storm and later a depression. But forecasters said Nicholas could stall over storm-battered Louisiana and spread life-threatening floods across the Deep South over the coming days.

In a state still recovering from Category 4 storm Ida weeks ago — as well as Category 4 Laura a year ago — Nicholas and its potentially heavy rain bands were unwelcome news.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards warned residents to expect flash flooding and to take the storm seriously despite its lack of hurricane status.

“This is a very serious storm, particularly in those areas that were so heavily impacted by Hurricane Ida,” Edwards said.

Galveston, Texas, recorded nearly 14 inches (35 centimeters) of rain from Nicholas, the 14th named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, while Houston reported more than 6 inches (15 centimeters). The New Orleans office of the National Weather Service said late Tuesday that as much as 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain could fall in parts of Louisiana, with some areas seeing particularly intense periods of 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 centimeters) of rainfall per hour.

In the small Louisiana community of Pointe-aux-Chenes, Ida peeled open the tin roof of Terry and Patti Dardar’s home, leaving them without power and water for more than two weeks since. Nicholas made the damage that much worse, soaking the upstairs. But it also provided them with badly needed water, which their son Terren and grandchildren collected in jugs and poured into a huge plastic container through a strainer. From there, a pump powered by a generator brought the water inside.

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His mom, Patti, said the family didn’t have anywhere else to go after Ida, so members were doing their best during Nicholas.

“We ain’t got no other place,” she said. “This is our home.”

Gov. Edwards said Nicholas will complicate an already difficult recovery from Ida in southeast Louisiana. He noted that 95,000 electric customers were still without power more than two weeks after Ida hit. And he said the new storm could mean some who had regained power might lose it again. Homes already badly damaged by Ida were not yet repaired to the extent that they could withstand heavy rain, Edwards added.

Energy companies working to restore power to remaining areas in the state said Wednesday that they were watching Nicholas closely but didn’t expect it to affect their restoration times.

A spokesman for Entergy Louisiana said Nicholas so far has not caused any delays to previously announced times to restore power. Crews cannot operate when lightning is within 10 miles (16 kilometers) and can’t put bucket trucks in the air at winds greater than 30 mph (50 kph), said Jerry Nappi. But once conditions improve they would quickly …read more

Source:: Headlines News4jax

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