U.S. forecasters say Hurricane Nicole came ashore on the east coast of Florida early Thursday, bringing heavy rains, strong winds and a dangerous storm surge to a state still recovering six weeks after the devastation from Hurricane Ian.
In its latest report, the Miami-based National Hurricane center reports Nicole – now a tropical storm – was centered about 35 kilometers northwest of Vero Beach, on Florida’s east coast and about one kilometer southeast of the north central city of Orlando.
Nicole is still producing maximum sustained winds of 110 kilometers per hour with tropical storm force winds extending outward up to 720 kilometers from the center, especially to the north. The storm is moving to the north-northwest at about 22 kilometers per hour.
The rare November hurricane prompted state and local officials to shut down airports and theme parks in the storm’s path and order evacuations that included former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club.
Local television showed video of rushing water flooding city streets throughout Broward County, on the east coast near Miami, including the cities of Hollywood Beach, Dania Beach and Titusville to the north.
The hurricane center is warning that Nicole’s storm surge could further erode many beaches hit by Hurricane Ian in September, and some additional coastal flooding is likely Thursday.
The storm is forecast to head into Georgia and the Carolinas as a tropical depression later Thursday and Friday, dumping heavy rain across the region. It is expected to move up the U.S. East Coast and merge with a weather front over the Mid-Atlantic by late Friday, bringing rain to that region.
Some information for this report was provided by The Associated Press and Reuters.