Students fear for families, homes as Tropical Storm Nicholas threatens to flood Texas, Louisiana

The Houston area is bracing for another tropical storm in a series of other hurricanes and tropical storms in recent years. Photo courtesy of AP

By Camille Cox | Staff Writer

Texas and Louisiana residents brace for Tropical Storm Nicholas to make landfall this week, with some places having the potential to reach 16 inches of rain overnight.

According to the National Weather Service Office of Houston/Galveston, TX (NWS), the storm is approaching as a tropical storm but could escalate to hurricane strength after making landfall. The NWS issued an official hurricane watch from Port Aransas to the San Luis Pass.

Galveston junior Marie Louise Livanec learned about Nicholas earlier yesterday after her mother, who works at UTMB Health in Galveston, said the hospital was now using hurricane/tropical storm procedures.

“I didn’t know it was happening today, but I called my mom at some point this morning, and she said, ‘Sorry I can’t talk, we’re dealing with the storm,’” Livanec said.

Schools and businesses are closing down across Texas in response to officials warning that storm surges and flash flooding will plague the Gulf Coast.

“I’m not very concerned because Galveston is built to flood,” Livanec said. “The whole island is fairly high above sea level, and whatever isn’t are granite on the first floor because they know it will flood.”

Houston has experienced intense flooding in the last few years, with Hurricane Harvey wreaking havoc in 2017 and Tropical Storm Imelda hitting in 2019. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner took to Twitter to urge residents to stay off the roads in the upcoming days, as they expect flooded streets throughout the city. School districts across the Houston area have closed for Sept. 14.

Spring sophomore Payton Perez fears that Nicholas will flood at the same magnitude that Harvey did four years ago.

“In Harvey, both of my aunts’ houses, who live in Spring, flooded pretty badly, and we had to help them clear out their houses and get them redone,” Perez said. “It was really sad to see them go through that financially, so it’s scary to think it could happen again.”

Perez planned to drive back to Houston on Monday after classes, but rethought her plans after reading the potential dangers of Nicholas.

“I had tickets to see Harry Styles tonight in Houston at the Toyota Center, who I’ve been waiting to see for over two years now, and it was canceled with no information as to if it’s going to happen in the future or not,” Perez said.

Just a few weeks after Hurricane Ida left Louisiana and New York residents displaced and without electricity, Tropical Storm Nicholas has the potential to flood southwest Louisiana and Texas, according to The Weather Channel.

Forecasters expected Tropical Storm Nicholas to make landfall on Monday evening, with the potential of more than a foot of rain to reach parts of Texas and Louisiana.