Tropical Depression Nicholas lingered Wednesday over a storm-battered Louisiana, threatening to drop heavy rains on a still-recovering state.
Nicholas made landfall as a hurricane early Tuesday on the Texas coast, dumping dangerous amounts of rain even though it was quickly downgraded to a tropical storm and later 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 Wednesday.
The depression, now 30 miles northeast of Lake Charles Louisiana, is expected to drop 3 to 6 more inches of rain across the central Gulf Coast, with up to 10 inches in some areas, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Life-threatening flash flooding is possible through Friday in central to southeastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. Tornadoes were also possible in those states Wednesday.
Louisiana was still cleaning up from Ida, which made landfall as a powerful Category 4 hurricane and battered the southeast portion of the state on Aug. 29.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Nicholas will complicate an already difficult recovery from Ida.
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.
He said people should prepare for flash flooding and take Nicholas seriously even though it isn’t a hurricane.
Nic Hunter, the mayor of Lake Charles, which received minimal impact from Ida but saw multiple wallops from Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Delta in 2020, also urged residents to prepare.
Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency Sunday night and on Monday, President Joe Biden approved the governor’s request for an emergency declaration.