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10 PM UPDATE: Hurricane Nicholas expected to travel east along the I-10 corridor

As of 10 p.m. Monday, the National Weather Service announced Nicholas has become a category one hurricane, approaching the Freeport to Matagorda TX coast.

It is expected to move a little inland to the Houston area overnight, and then travel east along the I-10 corridor from Beaumont to Lake Charles and Lafayette Tuesday and Wednesday.

The heavy rain and flash flood threat will be highest along the I-10 corridor from Beaumont to Lake Charles and Lafayette, extending down to the coast, and perhaps extending as far north as the U.S. 190 corridor.

Five to ten inches of rain is expected, with locally higher amounts of 15 to 20 inches possible.

If Nicholas does not move inland near Freeport tonight, “we will have to monitor for a scenario where it could come up to the Port Arthur TX to Cameron region by Tuesday morning,” Warning Coordination Meteorologist Roger Erickson said.

Additional strengthening is not expected, but “we could see gusty winds near hurricane force if that scenario happens,” Erickson said.

“If we see hurricane force wind gusts, we will see power outages, some trees blown down, and damage to some roofs.”

In addition, tides are expected to run 2 to 4 feet above normal in Sabine Pass to Cameron, so local roads could flood during high tide overnight tonight.

We are still expecting 5 to 10 inches of rain, with locally higher amounts of 15 to 20 inches possible along and to the right of the path of Nicholas. Expect to see street flooding during periods of heavy rain, and possibly enter homes and businesses. The highest risk area is going to be along the I-10 corridor from Beaumont to Lafayette, extending to the coast.