Nicole strengthened herself in the rare November hurricane before breaking into Florida early Thursday, then weakened almost immediately into a tropical storm.
The storm landed along the east coast of Sunshine State, south of Vero Beach, as a Category 1 hurricane with wind speeds up to 75 mph. His arrival marked the first hurricane in nearly 40 years to hit the United States in November. The last hurricane to do this was Hurricane Kate in 1985.
According to a recent update from the National Hurricane Center, Nicole was located approximately 30 miles southwest of Orlando and 55 miles east of Tampa. As of 7am, the storm had a maximum sustained wind of 60mph and was moving from west to northwest at 14mph. It may briefly ascend the northeastern tip of the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday afternoon before moving to West Florida and Georgia.
Despite being weakened by a tropical storm, Nicole will continue to plague a storm-weary Florida all day long. Forecasts predicted that the storm would hit the peninsula with rain, strong winds, and bring with it a powerful storm surge in some areas before starting its journey north. Up to 8 inches of rain can flood the eastern, central and northern parts of Florida. By Friday, parts from the Southeast to the South and Central Appalachian Mountains, as well as the Western Mid-Atlantic region, are projected to be 2 to 6 inches by Friday, meteorologists warn.
Parts of Georgia, Carolina, and Alabama were already streaked by the rain brought by a thunderstorm Thursday morning.
Nicole is predicted to continue to wane as she wanders over Florida, possibly into the tropical depression over Georgia on Thursday night or early Friday, according to a hurricane center.
All hurricane warnings in Florida have been discontinued, although the tropical storm warning has remained in force in some regions, including Boca Raton, Florida to the South Santee River in South Carolina, north of Bonita Beach to the Indian Pass in Florida and Lake Okeechobee.
According to the tracking tool, the tropical storm also cut electricity to nearly 233,000 homes and businesses in Florida Poweroutage.pl.
“We are responding to severe tropical weather with Nicole and are unable to provide recovery estimates at this time.” Florida power and light it says on its website. “We can rest assured that we will continue to restore outages, including between storm weather bands, as long as it is safe to do so.”
With News Wire services
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