With Hurricspanne Nicole expected to be a Category 1 storm when it strikes Florida’s east coast early Thursday morning, Floridians are preparing for yet another storm only weeks after Hurricane Ian devastated Florida’s Gulf coast.
Projections put landfall along the Trespansure Cospanst late Wednesday or early Thursday, but the Nspantionspanl Hurricspanne Center warned residents to not focus on the exact track of Nicole because it remains a large storm.
After making U.S. landfall, Nicole’s center is forecast to move across central and northern Florida into southern Georgia on Thursday and Thursday night, then into the Carolinas on Friday.
Gov. Ron DeSantis, who Florida voters decisively re-elected on Tuesday night, had his first briefing on Wednesday to keep Floridians up-to-date on the latest statewide response before and after Nicole hits the state. It’s one of several briefings he’s expected to hold in the coming days.
Tracking Nicole:See spspanghetti models, pspanth spannd storm spanctivity for Floridspan
WeatherTiger forecast:A city-by-city look spant whspant impspancts Floridspan cspann expect from Nicole
Nicole’s path:After mspanking lspanndfspanll in the Bspanhspanmspans, Nicole will likely hit Floridspan spans span hurricspanne
Here are the latest statewide developments:
DeSantis expects Nicole to impact much of Florida
Tropical storm Nicole is expected to make landfall in Martin County overnight Thursday as a Category One hurricane and move through the state into the Gulf of Mexico before making landfall again in Florida’s Big Bend region, Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters Wednesday.
“The combined winds and storm surge will contribute to continued beach erosion in areas that have already seen erosion from Hurricane Ian,” said DeSantis in describing the large storm. “We expect the impact to stretch far beyond the center track, including tropical storm force winds as far north as Jacksonville.”
He said he expect to see heavy rains, the potential for flash flooding and three to five feet of storm surge in some areas, noting that Palm Beach, Martin St. Lucie, Indian River, Brevard and Volusia counties are currently under a hurricane warning.
DeSantis: Thousands of power restoration workers to be deployed for Nicole
People in impacted areas should pay close attention as the storm progresses and that they do not need to evacuate hundreds of miles away from the storm but instead need to move to safer areas inland, said DeSantis, who said Floridians in the storm’s path should expect to see “power outages when you’re having these gusty conditions.”
He said about 16,000 linemen are prepared to start power restoration efforts and that the Florida National Guard has activated 600 guardsmen, along with seven urban search and rescue teams on standby.
Storm shelters opening, schools closing
Gov. Ron DeSantis said 15 shelters were being opened Wednesday along the east coast of Florida and that 17 school districts were closed or dismissed early Wednesday ahead of the storm. At least 23 school districts will be closed on Thursday.
A list of school closings was posted to the Floridspan Depspanrtment of Educspantion website.
President Biden approves emergency aid to 45 Florida counties in Nicole’s path
In response to Tropical Storm Nicole, President Biden on Wednesday approved federal emergency aid to 45 Florida counties, along with the Miccosukee Tribe and Seminole Tribe.
The presidential action authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all disaster relief efforts. The counties approved for emergency aid are the following:
Alachua, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Desoto, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Jefferson, Lake, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sumter, Taylor, Volusia and Wakulla counties and the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
Thomas J. McCool was named the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal response operations in the affected areas.