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Nicholas touched down on the eastern part of the Matagorda Peninsula, about 10 miles west southwest of Sargent Beach, Texas on Tuesday, with maximum winds of 75 mph, according to the National Hurricane Centre in Miami.
The storm was moving north northeast at 10 mph and the centre of Nicholas was expected to move slowly over southeastern Texas on Tuesday and over southwestern Louisiana on Wednesday.
Nicholas is expected to hit the same area covered by Hurricane Harvey from August 2017 as well as Louisiana.
It is the 14th named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.
Nearly all of the state’s coastline was under a tropical storm warning that included possible flash floods and urban flooding.
President Joe Biden declared an emergency for Louisiana early on Tuesday and ordered federal assistance to strengthen local response efforts, the White House said.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said authorities arranged rescue teams and resources in the Houston area and along the coast.
In Houston, officials also worried that heavy rain expected to arrive by Tuesday could overwhelm streets and flood homes.
A tornado may be possible on Tuesday along upper Texas and southwest Louisiana coast, according to the weather service.
Authorities deployed high-water rescue vehicles throughout the city and raised barricades at more than 40 locations that tend to flood, Mayor Sylvester Turner said.
They also shut down numerous school districts along the Texas Gulf Coast, along with multiple Covid-19 testing and vaccination sites in the Houston and Corpus Christi areas.
"This city is very resilient. We know what we need to do. We know about preparing," said Turner.
"Listen to local weather alerts and heed local advisories about the right and safe thing to do, and you’ll make it through this storm just like you’ve had many other storms," Abbott said.
Additional reporting by Associated Press