Nicholas weakening rapidly as it approaches Teche Area

Tropical Storm Nicholas is expected to dissipate over Louisiana in the next 24 to 36 hours after hitting the Texas Gulf coast as a Category 1 hurricane. The National Weather Service’s Lake Charles office warned of the continuing potential for flash flooding in south Louisiana as the storm enters the state, and some local government offices will remain closed today as a result.

Teche Area residents were breathing a collective sigh of relief Tuesday night as forecasts showed a rapidly weakening Tropical Storm Nicholas, sliding down the Saffir-Simpson scale to its place as a poorly organized tropical depression, slated to dissipate over Louisiana in another 24 to 36 hours.

That is not to say it did not pack a punch. When it came ashore as a Category 1 storm along the Texas coast, Nicholas knocked out power to nearly a half-million Texans as the storm quickly flooded roadways across Houston. In Galveston and other coastal communities in Nicholas’ path, wind damage to roofs and trees was apparent.

Even in its weakened state, the storm brought some rains, although less than predicted. By Tuesday evening, the 10 to 15 inches feared as the storm crossed the Acadiana region had dropped to a predicted one to eight inches.

The potential for flash flooding, however, was still a factor as of the National Weather Service Lake Charles office’s forecast as of 7 p.m. Tuesday, although wind, storm surge and tornado threats had been discounted across the Louisiana Gulf Coast.

The threat of flash flooding has kept some offices closed today. The Iberia Parish Government will keep all non-essential employees at home today.

The Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Administrative Offices in the Iberia Parish Courthouse will also remain closed today.

The Iberia Parish School District will be taking lessons virtually today, while St. Martin and St. Mary parish schools will be holding classes in person.

Louisiana Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne announced that state offices in Iberia, St. Martin and St. Mary, along with 22 other parishes, will remain closed today.

As the situation develops today, updates will be posted at The Daily Iberian’s website, iberianet.com.

Dwayne Fatherree is the community editor for The Daily Iberian. He can be reached at dwayne.fatherree@daily-iberian.com.

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