Tropical Depression Nicholas is threatening the Gulf Coast with heavy rains and flash flooding after making landfall Tuesday morning as a Category 1 hurricane, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands in southeast Texas.
More than 450,000 customers in the Houston area were without power at the peak of the storm’s impacts, as well as several thousand in Louisiana, where 95,000 people still lack electricity due to Hurricane Ida. On Wednesday, roughly 84,000 customers in Houston and surrounding areas were without power, according to PowerOutage.US.
The slow-moving system is expected to linger over Louisiana late into the week, producing rain bands that affect much of the central Gulf Coast. Nicholas has already brought heavy rains to Mississippi, the Florida Panhandle, Alabama, and many of the same areas affected by Ida last month. The region is forecast to receive up to six inches of rain with isolated totals of 10 inches in some areas, according to the National Hurricane Center. The center also warns of life-threatening flash flooding, especially in urban areas. The storm is expected to dissipate by Friday.
Direct Relief’s Response
Direct Relief’s emergency response team is monitoring Tropical Depression Nicholas as shipments bound for communities affected by Hurricane Ida continue to depart the warehouse.
The organization has prepositioned several caches of emergency medical supplies at health facilities across the Gulf Coast, including those within the path of Tropical Depression Nicholas.
Meanwhile, more than $460,000 in medical supplies and equipment have been shipped to health facilities treating patients in areas affected by Hurricane Ida as many prepare to be impacted by Nicholas this week. Shipments have included wound care supplies, nutritional support, chronic disease medication, infection control supplies, and personal care products for evacuees. As power outages persist, Direct Relief continues to deploy solar-powered batteries and refrigerators to health facilities, enabling providers to maintain temperature-sensitive medications, run electrical medical equipment, and keep electronic medical records online while the electrical grid is down.
As hurricane season draws on, Direct Relief will continue to field requests for medical aid and respond accordingly.