AUSTIN, Texas - Residents along the Texas coast are bracing for a direct hit from Nicholas, as folks in our area prepare to feel impacts from the storm as well.
Tropical storm warnings are in effect for coastal areas of Texas, along with the potential for flash flooding.
Along the Gulf Coast, the rush is on to get ready for this storm. In places like Galveston, stores were busy over the weekend, with residents stocking up on food, water, and emergency supplies.
People also dealt with long lines at gas stations to fill up their cars, just in case they need to make a quick exit as the storm strengthens.
"The stores are crazy. Lines are horrible. People are trying to get out to get water and resources," said Samantha Brown of Galveston.
Gov. Greg Abbott says Texas is prepared for this storm but is urging people to do their part to be ready and stay safe.
On Sunday, Abbott increased the state’s emergency response to Level 2 ahead of the storm, and in preparation, Abbott has readied emergency response teams all along the gulf coast—including the Texas A&M Task Force. Water rescue squads, support personnel, and rescue swimmers are in position and at the ready in spots that are anticipating heavy rainfall—in some cases up to ten inches.
"This is a storm that could leave heavy rain as well as winds and probably flooding in very different regions along the Gulf Coast," Gov. Abbott said in a video posted to Twitter Sunday night.
County leaders up and down the coast are keeping a very close eye on the storm’s track. Galveston County Judge Mark Henry says, at least for now, it does not look like evacuations will be necessary.
"Not right now. No one is suggesting a loss of power, which is one of our primary concerns, and no one is suggesting a loss of the ferry service," said Henry.
Nearby Houston is taking precautions ahead of the storm’s landfall as well. The city’s Office of Emergency Management was open early Monday morning to keep an eye on the changing conditions. Meanwhile, at least eight school districts in the Houston area are closed Monday, due to the risk for flash flooding across that region.
"We don't know how much rain we would get and how much would be falling at any one time, but we are certainly anticipating a lot of rain, and we are anticipating that there could be some flash flooding," said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.
While Central Texas is not expecting nearly as much rain or a risk of flash flooding at this point, it’s always a good idea to make sure gutters and drains are clear of any debris. And of course, avoid driving through any standing water.
Track your local forecast for the Austin area quickly with the free FOX 7 WAPP. The design gives you radar, hourly, and 7-day weather information just by scrolling. Our weather alerts will warn you early and help you stay safe during storms.
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