Residents in the path of Tropical Storm Nicole should be cautious and heed warnings from emergency management officials and local authorities, Gov. Ron DeSantis said, as the storm continued to move through Florida on Thursday.
“The wind from the storm is still very large,” DeSantis told reporters at the Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee.
“The impact stretches far beyond the center track with much of the state already experiencing tropical storm force winds. Winds have been the main concern with Nicole but we’ve also seen heavy rains that have resulted in 3-5 foot of storm surge; in some areas we’ve also seen potential flash flooding.”
Nicole made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane overnight, bringing storm surge of up to 5 feet, beach erosion that threatened homes and structures near the coastline, as well as heavy winds and rains. As of 10 a.m., it had maximum winds of 50 mph and was located 50 miles west of Orlando, moving west-northwest at 16 mph.
DeSantis declared a state of emergency on Monday ahead of Nicole’s arrival, and President Joe Biden approved a federal emergency declaration Wednesday allowing for 75% federal payments for emergency protective measures.
As of 9 a.m., 259,393 households and businesses were without power, or about 2% of the state, according to data from the Public Service Commission.
“This is obviously not as significant a storm as Hurricane Ian was but coming on the heels of that you’re seeing communities particularly in the Volusia County area where you had a lot of that erosion on the coastline, this has put some of those structures in jeopardy and (Division of Emergency Management officials) have been working very hard to make sure everybody’s safe,” DeSantis said.
The storm pushed 61 school districts to close on Thursday, and DeSantis noted all districts would be closed Friday for Veterans Day. The full list of closed school districts can be found here.
DeSantis said 17,000 linemen in power restoration crews were ready to move north from Palm Beach County to restore power to areas along the Treasure Coast and Space Coast in Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Brevard counties.
Nicole is forecast to exit Florida along the Gulf Coast and hit the state again in the Panhandle.
DEM Director Kevin Guthrie warned residents along the east coast not to drive in flooded waters or touch downed power lines after Nicole has cleared the area, and noted tide levels could remain high after the storm has passed, leading to flooding along the coast and the St. Johns River.
November 10, 2022 at 2:07 pm
If he carried about Florida,he would of had his state chief metrologist model the storm,I told you people 10days ago a hurricane would impact Florida,I am not a meteorologist,but I have access to an hurricane online site,you can model a storm for 10 days ,this not the end Florida will have another Cat 5 near Thanksgiving near Lee County
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