Power flashes light up Texas sky as South braces for flooding from strengthening tropical storm Nicholas

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Power flashes light up Texas sky as South braces for flooding from strengthening tropical storm Nicholas
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Flooding is on the way for some Texas communities as Tropical Storm Nicholas approaches the Lone Star state.

Currently Nicholas is stationary over the Gulf of Mexico, where it could strengthen substantially before making landfall.

The first bands of rainfall from the storm have already made their way to Texas' east coast, with reports of power flashes in the night sky in Galveston.

The storm is currently about 140 miles south of Port O'Connor, Texas, just southwest of Galveston.

According to Accuweather, the Corpus Christi International Airport has already reported 3.09 inches of rain, and McAllen International Airport has reported 1.72 inches.

The storm is expected to produce significant and life-threatening storm surges when it makes landfall. Current estimates expect surges of five to six feet, and potentially higher levels around Corpus Christi and Galveston Bays.

"This is a life-threatening situation. Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions," the National Hurricane Centre said in a statement.

The storm is expected to make landfall on Monday. Currently, Nicholas has sustained winds of 60mph (97kmph).

Houston's Mayor Sylvester Turner held a press conference discussing the city's preparation plans ahead of the storm.

Mr Turner said he is most concerned with Monday night and Tuesday morning storm complications and warned residents to stay off the roads in the evening. The city has put barriers up in 43 spots throughout the city to help mitigate flooding.

According to the Weather Predicition Centre, nearly 9 million people are currently under a flash flood watch in anticipation of the storm.

"Rainfall amounts in excess of 10-15 inches with isolated higher totals are expected through the end of the day on Tuesday in some locations," The National Weather Service office in Houston said.

According to Houston's NWS office, the rain will fall over a relatively short period of time, which "enhances the threat of flash flooding”.

While the brunt of the storm will hit Texas's east cost, areas further north in Louisiana will also experience significant rainfall from the storm.

Areas including Lake Charles and Cameron Parish, Louisiana, are still reeling from the affects of Hurricane Ida, and will now likely have to contend with heavy rainfall from Nicholas. More than 100,000 residents in the area are still without power in the wake of Hurricane Ida.

"This tropical storm has the potential to disrupt some power restoration and recovery work currently underway,” Louisiana Governor. John Bel Edwards said in a statement. “I encourage anyone who has had recent damage from Ida, Laura or other disasters to take necessary measures to protect their home or business from additional harm."

Mr Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency ahead of Nicholas' landfall.

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