The National Hurricane Center reported that Hurricane Nicole made landfall early on Thursday morning just south of Vero Beach along Florida’s east coast. Nicole quickly lost part of its strength and was downgraded to a tropical storm. However, the centre reported that it was still pelting a sizable portion of the storm-weary state with powerful gusts, a hazardous storm surge, and a lot of rain.
What was unusual The hurricane in November had already prompted authorities to shut down airports and theme parks and issue evacuation orders that included the Mar-a-Lago property of former President Donald Trump.
The storm surge from Nicole, according to authorities, could significantly erode many of the beaches that Hurricane Ian damaged in September. According to PowerOutage.us, 82,000 homes and businesses in Florida were without electricity as Hurricane Nicole neared.
Early on Thursday, Nicole’s maximum sustained winds were reported to be 70 mph by the U.S. National Hurricane Center. The minimum sustained wind speed for a storm to be classified as a hurricane is 74 mph. It was travelling at a west-northwest speed of 14 mph when it was about 25 miles northwest of Vero Beach and 60 miles southeast of Orlando.
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The elongated storm’s winds reached tropical storm strength as far as 450 miles from its centre in some places. The hurricane centre predicted that Nicole’s centre will traverse central Florida this morning, perhaps emerge over the far northeastern Gulf of Mexico this afternoon, and then proceed across the Florida Panhandle and Georgia this evening and on Friday.
“During the next day or two, Nicole is expected to continue to weaken as it advances over land. At that point, the storm is predicted to become a tropical depression over Georgia tonight or early Friday. By Friday night, Nicole is anticipated to combine with a frontal barrier over the Mid-Atlantic States.”
Videos of a variety of dramatic sights, including these, were tweeted by Mike’s Weather Page.
Fort Pierce… pic.twitter.com/j5DG1w3SeS
— Mike’s Weather Page (@tropicalupdate) November 10, 2022
Just hours earlier, Nicole, a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph, made landfall on Great Abaco island. By the time Nicole hit Grand Bahama Island on Wednesday evening, it had intensified into a hurricane. Since Hurricane Dorian, a Category 5 storm that destroyed the archipelago in 2019, it is the first storm to make landfall in the Bahamas.
Since records began to be kept in 1853, only three hurricanes have made landfall in November in Florida, which is already tired of storms. The previous ones were Hurricane Kate in 1985 and the Yankee Hurricane in 1935.
MyPOV: a travel nightmare ahead.
Nicole strengthened to a hurricane Wednesday evening while making landfall on Grand Bahama Island in the Bahamas, before taking aim at the eastern coast of Florida later in the night https://t.co/SluN0LiK7a
— R “Ray” Wang 王瑞光 @awscloud #Reinvent #Celosphere (@rwang0) November 10, 2022
Mar-a-About a quarter mile inland from the beach, Trump’s club and residence, Lago, was located in one of the evacuation zones. Since it was constructed almost a century ago, the property has withstood much larger hurricanes. The main structures are situated on a little elevation of about 15 feet above sea level.
When an Associated Press reporter called the resort’s security office on Wednesday to inquire about the club’s evacuation, the operator hung up. By Wednesday afternoon, there had been no hint of an evacuation. There are no consequences for disobeying an evacuation order, but rescue teams won’t arrive if it puts their personnel in danger.
At least six multi-story beachfront residential properties in Daytona Beach Shores that had already suffered damage from Hurricane Ian and were now in danger from Nicole were considered hazardous by local authorities. In other areas, law enforcement officers went door to door advising residents to gather their belongings and depart.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort closed their doors on Wednesday but declared they will reopen Thursday.
On Wednesday morning, Palm Beach International Airport shuttered, and Daytona Beach International Airport said it would cease operations. The seventh busiest airport in the country, Orlando International Airport, was also shuttered. Further south, authorities said that Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport occasionally faced flight delays and cancellations, but both intended to remain operational.
Gov. Ron DeSantis stated at a news conference in Tallahassee that winds were the largest worry and that there might be substantial power outages, but that 16,000 linemen, 600 guardsmen, and seven search and rescue teams were ready to restore power. According to DeSantis, Nicole “will affect significant portions of the state of Florida all day.”
According to the governor, 15 shelters were open throughout Florida’s east coast and almost two dozen school districts were closing their doors due to the hurricane. A state of emergency had been declared in 45 of Florida’s 67 counties.
Numerous areas of Florida received warnings and watches, including the southwest coast of the Gulf of Mexico, which Hurricane Ian destroyed on September 28 as a Category 4 hurricane. Homes were destroyed and crops, particularly orange groves, were ravaged throughout the state by the hurricane, which many people are still recovering from.
A senior hurricane specialist at the hurricane centre in Miami named Daniel Brown predicted that a sizable portion of Florida would be affected by the storm. Due to the system’s size, he predicted that all of Florida’s east coast, with the exception of the Keys and the far southeast, will see tropical-storm-force winds.
President Biden issued an emergency declaration for Florida early on Wednesday and authorised federal assistance to support state, tribal, and local efforts to prepare for the hurricane. In the wake of Hurricane Ian, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is still providing assistance to those in need. Ian produced a storm surge that might reach 13 feet in late September, wreaking havoc all around.