Hurricane Nicole approached the east coast of Florida early Thursday and was due to land at night.
The storm turned into a hurricane on Wednesday night as it hit the Bahamas and US officials ordered the evacuation of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club.
This is a rare November hurricane in storm-tired Florida, where only two such hurricanes have landed since record keeping began in 1853 – Hurricane Yankee in 1935 and Hurricane Kate in 1985.
Nicole was expected to arrive in Florida with a storm surge that could further damage many beachesand then on Thursdays and Fridays go to Georgia and Karolin.
“Strong winds, dangerous storm surges and waves and heavy rains continue over a large area,” the hurricane center reported early Thursday.
The Nicole Center was just 15 miles east-southeast of Fort Pierce, Florida in early Thursday, the Miami National Hurricane Center said. It was moving from west to northwest at 14mph with max sustained winds of 75mph, making it a Category 1 hurricane.
The threshold for which a storm can be considered a hurricane is winds that are 74 mph.
The stretching storm turned into a hurricane when it hit Greater Bahama after it had landed on Great Abaco Island a few hours earlier as a tropical storm with a maximum continuous wind of 70 mph.
Nicole is the first storm to hit the Bahamas sincea Category 5 storm that devastated the archipelago in 2019.
In the Bahamas, officials said more than 860 people were housed in more than two dozen shelters. The northwest region of the archipelago has seen extensive flooding, felled trees, and power and water outages.
Authorities were particularly concerned about the large Haitian community in Great Abaco, which was destroyed by Dorian and has since grown from 50 acres (20 hectares) to 200 acres (80 hectares).
“Don’t put yourself in danger,” said Zhivago Dames, deputy police information commissioner, urging everyone to stay home. “Our first rescuers are there. However, they will not endanger their lives. ”
In Florida, the St. Lucie said in a tweet that a storm wave from Nicole’s tropical storm had already pierced the sea wall along the Indian River Drive, which runs parallel to the Atlantic Ocean. The Martin County Sheriff’s Office also reported that seawater has disturbed part of the road on Hutchinson Island.
Residents of several Florida counties – Flagler, Palm Beach, Martin, and Volusia – were ordered to evacuate barrier islands, low-lying areas, and caravans. Volusia, home to Daytona Beach, imposed a curfew and warned that the interbank bridges used by evacuees would be closed when winds hit 39mph.
Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s clubhouse and home, is located in one of these escape zones, about a quarter of a mile inland from the ocean. The main buildings sit on a slight elevation about 15 feet above sea level, and the property has survived many more severe hurricanes since it was built almost a century ago. The resort’s security office hung up on Wednesday when an Associated Press reporter asked if the club was evacuated and there were no signs of evacuation until early afternoon.
There is no penalty for ignoring an evacuation order, but rescue teams will not respond if it puts their members at risk.
In Palm Beach County, approximately 400 people checked into seven evacuation centers. One of them was Hidir Dontar, a software engineer, carrying a backpack and a plastic bag with his belongings. He said he didn’t want to stay in his apartment because the owner didn’t put shutters on the windows, so he didn’t feel safe after surviving the “one bad guy”, Hurricane Frances in 2004.
“I didn’t want to be in the middle of a storm and have something wrong and wonder, ‘What am I going to do now?’ Said Dontar.
Meanwhile, officials at Daytona Beach Shores have deemed at least half a dozen multi-story coastal apartment buildings unsafe that have already been destroyed by Hurricane Ian and now threatened by Nicole. In some places, authorities went door-to-door, telling people to take their belongings and leave.
Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort have announced they are closed and are unlikely to reopen as planned on Thursday.
Palm Beach International Airport closed Wednesday morning, and Daytona Beach International Airport announced it would cease operations. The Orlando International Airport, the seventh busiest in the US, has also closed. Further south, officials said Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Miami International Airport are experiencing some delays and flight cancellations, but both plan to remain open.
At a news conference in Tallahassee, Governor Ron DeSantis said winds were the biggest problem and significant power cuts could occur, but 16,000 liners were on standby to restore power, as well as 600 rangers and seven search and rescue teams.
“It will affect large areas of Florida all day long,” DeSantis said of the expected release of the storm to land.
Nearly two dozen school districts have closed schools due to the storm, and 15 shelters have been opened on the east coast of Florida, the governor said.
Forty-five of Florida’s 67 counties were under an emergency declaration.
The director of the Florida Crisis Management Department, Kevin Guthrie, said Floridians should expect possible tornadoes, bursting currents, and flash floods.
Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis, who is on Tuedrew attention to the connection between thunderstorms and .
“There have always been storms, but as the planet warms due to carbon dioxide emissions, the storms increase in intensity and frequency,” he said. “For the people of Greater Bahamas and Abaco, I know that it is particularly difficult to face another storm”
New alerts and watches have been issued for many parts of Florida, including the Southwest coast of the Persian Gulf, which was devastated by Hurricane Ian, which struck a Category 4 storm on September 28. Ian has destroyed homes and crops, including orange groves, across the state, damage that many people are still dealing with.
In Florida, “the combination of a dangerous storm tide and high tide will cause the normally dry areas near the coast to be inundated by rising waters that move inland from the shoreline,” the hurricane center reported.
Daniel Brown, senior hurricane specialist at the Miami-based National Hurricane Center, said the storm would affect much of the state.
“Because the system is so large, in fact almost all of Florida’s east coast except the extreme southeast and the Keys will be picked up by tropical storm winds,” he said.
The storm is expected to spread through central and northern Florida to southern Georgia on Thursday, forecasts said. It was forecast to move through the Carolina on Friday.
“We will be dealing with rainfall next week in parts of the Southeast United States and the Southern Appalachian Mountains where there may be flooding, flash flooding with this rainfall,” Brown said.
On Wednesday Wednesday, President Biden declared a state of emergency in Florida and ordered federal aid to complement state, tribal and local efforts in response to the impending storm. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continues to respond to those in need with Hurricane Ian.
#Hurricane #Nicole #Florida