Science

Tropical Storm Nicole on track to hit Florida as hurricane after bashing Bahamas

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Tropical Storm Nicole lurked near the Bahamas and Florida early on November 9, 2022.

NOAA


miami – Many people were evacuated from vulnerable locations in the northwestern Bahamas as Tropical Storm Nicole approached Wednesday and Florida residents prepared for the storm. The US National Hurricane Center said it will be a hurricane when it reaches hurricane-weary Florida on Wednesday night before moving on to Georgia Thursday and the Carolinas Friday.

What’s more, the Hurricane Center said that Nicole “is a large tropical storm. Tropical-storm-force winds extend up to 460 miles, especially north of the center.”

New warnings and watches were issued for many parts of the state, including the southwestern Gulf coastline, which was devastated by Hurricane IanIt was a Category 4 hurricane on September 28. It destroyed homes and damaged crops, including orange trees, across the state.

Ian devastated much of Florida’s central region with heavy rainfall, causing flooding that many residents are still dealing with as Nicole approaches.

After moving past Florida, Nicole is expected to move into central and northern parts of the state, then into southern Georgia on Thursday and into the Carolinas on Friday.

In preparation, several school districts in Florida canceled classes on Wednesday and Thursday.

Residents of at least three Florida counties – Flagler, Palm Beach and Volusia – were ordered to evacuate from barrier islands, low-lying areas and mobile homes. The evacuation orders have come into effect from Wednesday morning. Officials at Orlando International Airport, America’s seventh busiest, said commercial operations would remain closed until Wednesday afternoon until it was safe to resume flights. And there are plans to close Palm Beach International Airport.

Early Wednesday, President Biden declared a state of emergency in Florida and ordered federal aid to supplement state, tribal and local response efforts for the impending hurricane. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is still responding to those in need from Hurricane Ian.

It was expected to be the first hurricane since Nicole to make landfall in the Bahamas. Hurricane DorianA devastating Category 5 hurricane that hit the archipelago in 2019.

In the Bahamas, officials said early Wednesday that there were only a few people in the more than two dozen shelters that had opened.

“We’re asking people to take this (seriously),” said Andrea Newbold with the disaster management unit for Social Services. “Don’t wait until the last minute.”

The Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Philip Brave Davis, who is attending COP27 United Nations Climate SummitSaid that as the storm is approaching, it has mobilized all government resources.

“There have always been hurricanes, but as the planet warms from carbon emissions, storms are increasing in intensity and frequency,” he said. “For those in the Grand Bahamas and Abaco, I know it’s especially difficult for you to weather another storm,” Davis said, referring to the islands hardest hit by Dorian.

At 7 a.m., the storm was 60 miles northeast of Great Abaco Island and about 240 miles east of West Palm Beach, Florida with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph. The storm was moving at 13 mph.

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