Tropical Depression Nicholas lingered over storm-battered Louisiana on Wednesday, threatening to drop heavy rains on a still recovering state.
Nicholas made landfall as a hurricane Tuesday morning on the Texas coast, dumping dangerous amounts of rain although it was quickly downgraded to a tropical storm and later to a depression.
Galveston, Texas, recorded nearly 14 inches of rain from Nicholas, the 14th named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. More than 100,000 customers in the state were still without power as of Wednesday.
The low, now 30 miles northeast of Lake Charles in Louisiana, is expected to drop an additional 3 to 6 inches of rain over the central Gulf Coast, with up to 10 inches in some areas, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Life-threatening flash floods are possible through Friday in central and southeastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. Tornadoes were also possible in those states on Wednesday.
Louisiana was still cleaning up Ida, which made landfall like a powerful Category 4 hurricane and hit the southeastern part of the state on August 29.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Nicholas would complicate Ida’s already difficult recovery.
He noted that 95,000 electric customers were still without power more than two weeks after Ida’s coup. And he said the new storm could mean that some who had regained power could lose him again. Homes already badly damaged by Ida have yet to be repaired to the point where they can withstand heavy rains, Edwards added.
He said people should be prepared for flash floods and take Nicholas seriously even though it is not a hurricane.
Nic Hunter, the mayor of Lake Charles, who received minimal impact from Ida but saw multiple hits from Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Delta in 2020, also urged residents to be prepared.
Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency on Sunday night and President Joe Biden on Monday approved the governor’s request for a declaration of emergency.