Florida braces for direct hit from rare November hurricane | Florida

Residents of Florida’s east coast braced for a direct hit from a rare november hurricane which was expected to land in the early hours of Thursday, with evacuations ordered in several vulnerable counties as Storm Nicole approaches.

Areas of the state devastated by Hurricane Ian in September was in the path of the cyclone which continued to gain momentum in the Atlantic on Wednesday after hitting the Bahamas in the early afternoon with winds above 70 mph.

Although not as powerful as Ian, a storm that claimed at least 114 lives in Florida and caused tens of billions of dollars in damage, Nicole’s threat prompted Governor Ron DeSantis to declare a state of emergency, with up to 4 million people under a hurricane warning.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami has warned of 75mph winds and the risk of “dangerous” storm surge as far north as Georgia.

Nicole’s big wind field, meanwhile, will stretch across Florida to areas of the West Coast still recovering from Ian’s wrath.

Disney and Universal theme parks in Orlando closed, many airports suspended operations, and residents of barrier islands and coastal communities in some eastern counties, including Flagler, Palm Beach, Martin and Volusia, were urged to evacuate.

NASA pushed back its latest launch schedule for the Artemis lunar rocket.

The evacuation zone included Palm Beach, home to Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, where the former president had spent a increasingly pessimistic the night of the midterm elections and Wednesday analyzing the results as they come kept coming in.

DeSantis, at a press conference in Tallahassee the following day he was re-elected as governor, warned of widespread power outages and said search teams and 600 National Guard troops were on standby.

“This will affect huge parts of the state of Florida all day,” the Republican governor said.

“Winds are the main concern, but we also expect heavy rains and the potential for flash flooding. It will contribute to continued beach erosion in areas that have already experienced beach erosion. Hurricane Ian.”

Earlier Wednesday, Joe Biden also declared an emergency in Florida, freeing up federal resources and assistance to supplement state, tribal and local response efforts. Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) personnel were still in the state responding to the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.

A late afternoon NHC Update predicted that Nicole would make her first landfall in the United States overnight near Port St Lucie, on the coast halfway between Miami and Orlando, then head northwest. It could enter the Gulf of Mexico before taking a second hit on the coast in the Florida Panhandle.

As darkness fell on Wednesday, the effects of Nicole’s outer bands began to be felt along the eastern seaboard. In Juno Beach, about 15 miles north of West Palm Beach, a gust of 62 mph was reported, while authorities in Boynton Beach to the south reported flooding in the downtown area.

Expected to weaken quickly after landfall, the fast-moving storm will bring heavy rain and flooding across Georgia and the Carolinas on Friday, and eventually to western New York, the hurricane center said.

Philip Davis, the prime minister of the Bahamas, said “all government resources” had been mobilized before Nicole arrived at Marsh Island.

“There have always been storms, but as the planet heats up from carbon emissions, storms are increasing in intensity and frequency“, he said during the COP27 International Climate Conference in Egypt.

November hurricanes in the United States are rare, largely due to less favorable environmental conditions, including colder seas. The most recent was Hurricane Kate, a cyclone that formed in the Caribbean and passed through Cuba before hitting Florida in 1985.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *