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Hurricane Nicholas pounds Texas, Louisiana with rain

Christian Fernsby |
Heavy rains fell across the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana on Tuesday as tropical storm Nicholas strengthened into a hurricane before making landfall, bringing the threat of widespread flooding, power outages and storm surges.

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Nicholas was some 20 miles (30 km) northeast of Matagorda, Texas as of 1 a.m. central time (2 a.m. eastern), heading northeast with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour (120 kph), the National Hurricane Center said in a bulletin early on Tuesday. It made landfall along the Texas coast, NHC said.

U.S. President Joe Biden declared an emergency for Louisiana and ordered federal assistance to supplement local response efforts due to conditions resulting from Nicholas, the White House said.

The latest hurricane could also knock out electricity and hamper restoration efforts after hurricane Ida knocked out power earlier in Louisiana.

More than 90,000 people in Louisiana and more than 230,000 people in Texas faced outages as of early Tuesday, according to the website PowerOutage.us.

“It will be a very slow-moving storm across the state of Texas that will linger for several days and drop a tremendous amount of rain,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said on Monday.

Abbott declared states of emergency in 17 counties and three cities. He said boat and helicopter rescue teams had been deployed or placed on standby.


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