Hurricane Nicholas shuts down interstates in Houston region
September 14, 2021
Hurricane Nicholas struck the Gulf Coast in Texas early Tuesday morning, flooding and shutting down numerous highways near the Houston area.
At about 1 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 14, Hurricane Nicholas reached landfall just southwest of Freeport, Texas, as a Category 1 storm with 75 mph maximum sustained winds. Major flooding is expected as the storm moves its way east through Houston into Louisiana.
As of 2 p.m. local time, the Texas Department of Transportation is reporting several road closures. Interstate 45 southbound was closed from state Highway 6 to a turnaround past Bayou Vista due to high water. I-45 southbound at Exit 7 was also closed. Several portions of I-45 frontage roads were shut down near the coast due to high water and debris. Main lanes of the interstate in those areas are not affected.
Flooding from Hurricane Nicholas also has shut down Interstate 10 westbound at the U-turn at Greens Bayou near Jacinto City in the Houston area.
I-10 frontage roads in both directions near Bear Lake in Lynchburg were also closed. However, main lanes remain open.
At 2 p.m. on Tuesday, TxDOT’s DriveTexas.org map was showing the above road closures on Interstates 10 and 45. (Source: TxDOT)
Several other roadways in the gulf region are closed. Go to DriveTexas.org for the latest road closure information.
Hurricane Nicholas, now a tropical storm, is moving northeast. According to the National Hurricane Center, the upper coast of Texas, across Louisiana, southern Mississippi, far southern Alabama and the western Florida panhandle can expect heavy rainfall through Thursday. Life-threatening flash and urban flooding is possible in those areas. There is a potential for life-threatening storm surges along the coast of Texas from Port Bolivar to Sabine Pass.
In southwestern Louisiana, the National Weather Service anticipates more than a foot of rainfall with isolated totals up to 20 inches. Anywhere from 5 to 10 inches of rainfall with locally higher totals is expected for the duration of Nicholas from far-east Texas to the central Gulf Coast.
As of 2 p.m. on Tuesday, PowerOutage.us was reporting more than 300,000 outages in Texas. Meanwhile in Louisiana, there are nearly 100,000 outages, likely the remnants of Hurricane Ida. LL