Weather-weary Texans braced for another assault as Hurricane Nicholas strengthened and swept over the state’s Gulf Coast on Monday night, heading toward the Houston area with lashing winds and driving rain.
The center of the storm was just offshore late Monday night, moving north-northeast over the Gulf of Mexico. Forecasters said it could make landfall by early Tuesday, and then weaken as it moved toward southeastern Texas on Tuesday and Southwestern Louisiana on Wednesday.
Nicholas was expected to bring more than a foot of rain to parts of coastal Texas, the National Hurricane Center said, raising concerns for flash flooding. Warnings of a dangerous storm surge extended east to Louisiana, where people are still recovering after Hurricane Ida battered the southern reaches of the state two weeks ago.
Schools in the Houston Independent School District, the largest public school system in Texas, have canceled classes for Tuesday. And the Port of Houston revealed that it would halt operations at its container terminals on Monday afternoon and keep them closed at least through Tuesday morning.