Science

Nicole strengthens into a tropical storm, expected to hit Florida as a hurricane

Forecasters said Nicole strengthened as a tropical storm on Tuesday as it churned toward the northwestern Bahamas and the Atlantic coast of Florida. National Hurricane Center said A hurricane warning and watch has been issued for large parts of Florida and “dangerous storm surge” is expected along the state’s east coast as well as parts of coastal Georgia.

Many areas are still battling this Hurricane Ian damage, which hit Florida’s southwestern Gulf Coast as a Category 4 hurricane in late September, before dumping heavy amounts of rain across much of the central part of the state. Forecasters said heavy rain could occur in areas still recovering from Ian’s floods.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Center said in an advisory that hurricane warnings were in effect for Abacos, Berry Island, Bimini and Grand Bahama Island. Tropical storm warnings remain in place for other areas of the Bahamas, including Andros Island, New Province and Eleuthera.

Alien Hall, who worked at a hotel on Great Abaco Island, said there were long lines at gas stations and grocery stores as people prepared for the storm to approach.

“We just got into it,” he said of the hotel, adding that the effect of Hurricane Dorian, the Category 5 storm that hit 2019, was still fresh in the minds of many. “We’re still impressed.”

Officials said they were particularly concerned about the people who are now living in about 100 motorhomes in Grand Bahama after Dorian destroyed their homes, and about the migrant community in Great Abaco’s March Harbor. Joe Russell said it has gone from 50 acres to 200 acres since Dorian. The previous community of Haitian migrants was hardest hit by the 2019 storm, with a large number of vulnerable structures in which many lived.

The Hurricane Center said the storm’s track shifted northward overnight, but the exact path remains uncertain as it approaches Florida, where it will make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane late Wednesday or early Thursday. are supposed to. CBS Miami reported That Palm Beach Public Schools will remain closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays with great caution.

On Tuesday morning, a hurricane warning was issued for a large portion of Florida’s Atlantic coast from Boca Raton to north of Daytona Beach. For other parts of the Florida coast, a Tropical Storm Warning is in place for Altamaha Sound, Georgia. The warning area also extends inland, covering Florida’s Lake Okeechobee, with tropical storm watches along the state’s Gulf Coast – from Bonita Beach in southwest Florida to the Okloconie River in the Panhandle.

Bevin said the storm has a “very large cyclonic envelope,” meaning that even if it makes landfall along the central Florida coastline, the impact will be felt north of Georgia.

However, the storm was not expected to have any effect on it. Voting in Florida On Tuesday, Bevin said.

Authorities in the Bahamas opened more than two dozen shelters across the archipelago on Tuesday as they closed schools and government offices in Abaco, Bimini, Berry Island and Grand Bahama.

Officials warned that airports and ports would close as the storm approached and would not reopen until Thursday, and urged people to seek safe shelter.

Communities in Abaco expect a direct blow from Nicole as they still struggle to recover from Dorian.

“We don’t have time to beg and request people to move,” said Captain Stephen Russell, director of the Emergency Management Authority.

At 10 a.m., the storm was about 350 miles east-northeast of the northwestern Bahamas and was moving at 9 mph with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. The last hurricane to hit Florida in November was Tropical Storm Etah, which made landfall at Cedar Key on the state’s Gulf Coast on November 12, 2020.

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