Tropical Storm Nicholas

Tropical Storm Nicholas is expected to approach hurricane strength Monday. The storm is projected to make landfall in Calhoun County near Port Lavaca.

Tropical Storm Nicholas is expected to approach hurricane strength as it heads toward Calhoun County on Monday.

The storm is projected to reach land in the late afternoon or early evening, and could bring 4-6 inches of rain, flash flooding, winds of 55 to 65 miles per hour and storm surges of 2-4 feet along the coast.

According to a National Weather Service advisory, the storm is likely to strengthen today as it moves northward before making landfall near or just north of Port Lavaca, and could reach hurricane strength.

"We're going to receive quite a bit of rain from this storm and some wind load as well," said Rick McBrayer, Victoria County's emergency management coordinator. "They're still anticipating landfall to be around the Port Lavaca, Matagorda Bay and Port O'Connor area."

A voluntary evacuation order was issued Monday morning by Calhoun County Judge Richard Meyer, who said the locations likeliest to see flooding include Indianola and Magnolia Beach, as well as low-lying areas near Port Lavaca and Olivia.

Heavy rainfall is expected to begin Monday night and continue through Tuesday morning. Victoria and the surrounding area could see 4-6 inches of rain, with higher amounts possible locally.

A flash flood watch is in place through Tuesday morning.

McBrayer said Victoria is likely to be hit by the storm's western edge, which could lead to intermittent bands of light and heavier rain. While there were no evacuation orders in place as of Monday, McBrayer said residents should stay home if possible and stay tuned for updates Monday evening and early Tuesday morning.

"If you don't have to be traveling, don't be," McBrayer said.

Along the coast, areas from Port Aransas could see 2-4 feet of flooding, with a "life-threatening storm surge" possible.

Rough seas are likely, with waves of 10 to 15 feet possible close to shore. There is a high risk of rip currents.

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Mark Rosenberg reports on local, regional and breaking news for the Victoria Advocate as a Report for America corps member. He can be reached at mrosenberg@vicad.com or 361-574-1264 or on Twitter at @markrosenberg32. To support local journalism at the Advocate through Report for America, go to VictoriaAdvocate.com/report.

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