After Nicholas became the second hurricane to crash ashore U.S. soil during the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, it veered northeastward to become the most recent to impact the still-recovering southwestern Louisiana.
The hurricane made landfall on the Matagorda Peninsula in Texas just after midnight on Tuesday, Sept. 14, dumping over a foot of rain in some areas. Despite Nicholas becoming a tropical storm, and later a depression, over Louisiana, the state still wasn't spared by the rainfall.
Terren Dardar, 17, and Dayton Verdin, 14, and Lerryn Brune, 10, three residents of Pointe-aux-Chenes, Louisiana, collected 140 gallons of rainwater in two hours from the storm, The Associated Press reported. They have had no running water since Hurricane Ida had slammed into coast, requiring them to filter and pump rainwater into their house for showers. Radar estimates show that 4 to 6 inches of rain fell in the area over the last 48 hours.
Lerryn Brune, 10, center, Terren Dardar, 17, right, and Dayton Verdin, 14, move barrels of rainwater they collected from Tropical Storm Nicholas, in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida in Pointe-aux-Chenes, La., Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. They have had no running water since the hurricane, and collected 140 gallons of rainwater in two hours from the tropical storm, which they filter and pump into their house for showers. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Farther north, Bunkie, Louisiana, saw over 10 inches of rainfall, and Baton Rouge around 7.39 inches by Wednesday. Flash flood watches and warnings stretched from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle.
Heavy rain is expected to continue across portions of Mississippi, Alabama, and even the Florida Panhandle into Wednesday night before gradually diminishing, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Randy Adkins.
"In terms of impact, areas that were hard-hit by Ida have suffered some renewed flooding, though the magnitude of the flooding is not nearly as severe as with Ida in the vast majority of locations," Adkins said. "Some of the flooding that has been observed is due to debris from Ida blocking drainage ditches and drain pipes, so in some ways Ida is still affecting the region."
City crews across Lake Charles had quickly cleared the drainage system from debris left behind by Ida, according to the AP, hoping to lessen the blow from the latest natural disaster to pass through the area.
"With what people have gone through over the last 16 months here in Lake Charles, they are very, understandably, despondent, emotional. Any time we have even a hint of a weather event approaching, people get scared," Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter told the AP.
Adkins added that observations across Louisiana showed that the wind was relatively light, so crews still working to restore power are now looking at more favorable conditions with the heaviest rain having shifted east.
According to an update from Entergy Wednesday morning, teams cannot put their buckets in the air when winds are greater than 30 mph, and they must take shelter if lightning is within 10 miles of a work location. The company has thus far restored power to 93% of Entergy Louisiana customers who lost power due to Ida.
Over 72,000 customers in Louisiana are still without power as of Wednesday evening, with the majority of outages in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes, according to PowerOutage.us.
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