November 10, 2022: Hurricane Nicole approaches Florida’s east coast. NOAA
Hurricane Nicole was anticipated to hit Florida’s east coast Thursday night.
As the storm pummeled the Bahamas on Wednesday evening, U.S. officials ordered evacuations, including of Mar-a-Lago.
Only two November hurricanes have hit Florida since 1853: the 1935 Yankee Hurricane and Hurricane Kate in 1985.
Nicole was predicted to strike Florida with a storm surge that could degrade beaches ravaged by Hurricane Ian in September, then travel to Georgia and the Carolinas Thursday and Friday.
Early Thursday, the hurricane agency reported “strong winds, dangerous storm surge and waves, and heavy precipitation.”
The National Hurricane Center in Miami stated Nicole’s center was 30 miles east-southeast of Fort Pierce, Florida. Category 1 storm, travelling 14 mph west-northwest with 75 mph winds.
74 mph sustained winds define a hurricane.
The storm became a hurricane after hitting Great Abaco as a tropical storm with 70 mph gusts.
Nicole is the first hurricane to hit the Bahamas since Dorian in 2019.
More than 860 people were in Bahamas shelters, officials reported. Northwest of the archipelago reported flooding, felled trees, and power and water disruptions.
Authorities were concerned about a massive Haitian village in Great Abaco that Dorian damaged and has since grown from 50 to 200 acres (80 hectares).
Assistant Police Commissioner Zhivago Dames recommended everyone to stay home. First responders are out, but they won’t risk their lives.
In Florida, the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office tweeted that Tropical Storm Nicole’s storm surge has overrun Indian River Drive’s sea wall. Seawater breached a road on Hutchinson Island, according to the sheriff’s office.
Flagler, Palm Beach, Martin, and Volusia counties evacuated barrier islands, low-lying regions, and mobile homes. Volusia, home to Daytona Beach, enforced a curfew and warned intercoastal bridges will close at 39 mph.
Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s club and house, lies a quarter-mile inland from the coast. The main structures are 15 feet (4.6 meters) above sea level and have survived multiple hurricanes since they were built nearly a century ago. The resort’s security office hung up when asked if the club was being evacuated, and there was no sign of evacuation by early afternoon.
There’s no penalty for defying an evacuation order, but rescue teams won’t respond if they’re in danger.
400 individuals, including software developer Hidir Dontar, checked into seven evacuation sites in Palm Beach County. He didn’t want to stay in his flat because the landlord didn’t place shutters over the windows, which didn’t seem safe after Hurricane Frances in 2004.
Dontar didn’t want to be in the heart of a storm and ponder what to do.
At least six multi-story coastal residential complexes in Daytona Beach Shores have been judged unsafe by regulators. Some authorities went door-to-door urging individuals to leave.
Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort will likely not reopen on Thursday as planned.
Palm Beach International Airport and Daytona Beach International Airport closed Wednesday. Seventh-busiest Orlando International Airport also closed. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Miami International Airport saw flight delays and cancellations but intended to remain operational.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said winds were the largest concern and massive power outages could occur, but 16,000 lineman, 600 guardsmen, and seven search and rescue teams were on standby to restore power.
DeSantis predicted the storm will disrupt large sections of Florida all day.
The governor said 15 shelters had opened along Florida’s east coast.
45 of Florida’s 67 counties were in emergency.
Kevin Guthrie, head of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management, warned of tornadoes, rip currents, and flash flooding.
Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis, during COP27, linked hurricanes with climate change.
As the earth warms from carbon emissions, storms are expanding in strength and frequency. “I know Grand Bahama and Abaco are facing another storm,”
Tropical storm winds stretched 485 miles (780 km) from the center.
New warnings and watches were issued for much of Florida, including the southern Gulf coast ravaged by Hurricane Ian on Sept. 28. The storm damaged homes and orange groves across the state. – ongoing damage.
In Florida, a “severe storm surge and the tide” will flood normally dry areas near the coast, the hurricane agency predicted.
Senior hurricane specialist at Miami’s National Hurricane Center Daniel Brown predicted the storm will strike much of the state.
“Because the system is so broad, practically the entire east coast of Florida will suffer tropical storm force winds,” he said.
Thursday, the storm is projected to traverse central and northern Florida into southern Georgia. Friday, it was expected to cross the Carolinas.
“We’re concerned about rain later this week in the southeastern U.S. and southern Appalachians, where it might cause flash floods,” said Brown.
President Biden declared an emergency in Florida early Wednesday and authorized federal aid to bolster state, tribal, and local efforts. FEMA is still helping hurricane victims.
People took videos of the churning ocean near Mar-a-Lago as winds hit 40 mph on Wednesday.
Denny DeHaven, a Social Security advocate, lives inland and isn’t worried.
“I’m mostly worried about a power outage since it’s only a Category 1,” he remarked. Hurricane Ian’s 13-foot storm surge in late September caused significant havoc.
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said dozens of seaside buildings were structurally hazardous in a Twitter video. Mandatory beach evacuation and 7 p.m. curfew.
Chitwood predicted a hard night.