Early on November 10, 2022, Hurricane Nicole will make landfall just south of Vero Beach, Florida.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Nicole made landfall early Thursday morning near the east coast of Florida, just south of Vero Beach. According to the center, the storm was already pummeling a significant portion of the storm-weary state with strong gusts, a deadly storm surge, and heavy rain.
The uncommon November hurricane had already prompted officials to close airports and amusement parks and order evacuations, including the Mar-a-Lago estate of former President Donald Trump.
Authorities have warned that Nicole’s storm surge might severely destroy beaches that were damaged by Hurricane Ian in September. The storm is expected to move through Georgia and the Carolinas later on Thursday and Friday, bringing with it heavy rainfall.
Approximately 54,000 Florida homes and businesses were without power as Hurricane Nicole neared, according to PowerOutage.us.
According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, Nicole was a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph as of early Thursday morning. The criteria for a storm to be classified as a hurricane is sustained winds of 74 miles per hour.
It was travelling 14 mph west-northwest.
In some directions, tropical storm-force winds reached up to 485 miles from the center. On Thursday, Nicole’s center is predicted to pass central and northern Florida before entering southern Georgia and the Carolinas on Friday.
Through early Thursday morning, a few tornadoes are possible from east-central to northeast Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center. As the St. Johns River continues to rise on Thursday over the Florida Peninsula, flash floods and urban flooding are also expected.
Through Saturday, this system is expected to bring heavy rain to sections of the Southeast, eastern Ohio Valley, Mid-Atlantic, and New England.
In the coming days, large swells caused by Nicole will impact the northwestern Bahamas, the east coast of Florida, and much of the southeastern United States coastline.
Nicole is projected to diminish as it traverses Florida and the southeastern United States through Friday, and by Friday afternoon, it will likely be a post-tropical cyclone.
Wednesday evening, Nicole blasted into Grand Bahama Island as a hurricane, only hours after making landfall as a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph on Great Abaco island. It is the first hurricane to strike the Bahamas since Hurricane Dorian, a Category 5 storm that ravaged the archipelago in 2019.
Since records began in 1853, this is only the third November hurricane to strike Florida’s shores, making Floridians fearful of storms. Previous hurricanes include the 1935 Yankee Hurricane and the 1985 Hurricane Kate.
Trump’s club and residence, Lago, was located in one of the evacuation zones, approximately a quarter mile inland from the shore. The main buildings are situated on a slight elevation approximately 15 feet above sea level, and the property has withstood multiple hurricanes since its construction nearly a century ago. Wednesday, the security office of the resort hung up on an Associated Press reporter who asked if the club was being evacuated. By Wednesday afternoon, there was no hint of exodus.
There is no punishment for disobeying an evacuation order, but rescue crews will not react if their members are endangered.
Officials in Daytona Beach Shores have designated hazardous at least six multi-story, coastal residential structures that were already damaged by Hurricane Ian and are now threatened by Hurricane Nicole. In some areas, authorities went door-to-door advising residents to gather their belongings and evacuate.
Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort confirmed they will likely not open on Thursday as anticipated.
Wednesday morning, Palm Beach International Airport and Daytona Beach International Airport both ceased operations. The seventh-busiest airport in the United States, Orlando International Airport, also closed. Further south, officials reported flight delays and cancellations at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Miami International Airport, but both intended to remain operational.
At a news conference in Tallahassee, Governor Ron DeSantis stated that winds were the greatest concern and that substantial power outages were possible, but that 16,000 lineman, 600 guardsmen, and seven search-and-rescue teams were on standby to restore power.
DeSantis stated that Nicole “will affect large portions of the state of Florida all day.”
Nearly a dozen school districts are closing due to the hurricane, and 15 shelters are available throughout the east coast of Florida, according to the governor.
45 of the 67 counties in Florida were under an emergency declaration.
Warnings and watches were issued for a large portion of Florida, including the southern Gulf coast that was ravaged by Hurricane Ian on September 28. Throughout the state, the storm destroyed homes and damaged crops, notably orange groves, causing ongoing problems for many.
Senior hurricane specialist at the Miami-based hurricane center, Daniel Brown, stated that the storm would impact a wide portion of Florida.
“Because the system is so big, practically the whole east coast of Florida, with the exception of the extreme southeastern portion and the Keys, will experience winds of a tropical storm,” he said.
President Biden proclaimed a state of emergency in Florida and ordered federal aid to bolster state, tribal, and local response operations to the approaching hurricane early Wednesday morning. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continues to assist those in need in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
Ian produced a 13-foot storm surge late in September, causing significant havoc.»Hurricane Nicole hits east Florida«