Hurricane After battering the Bahamas, Hurricane Nicole will hit Florida

On the morning of November 9, 2022, Tropical Storm Nicole approaches the Bahamas and Florida. NOAA

Miami — As Tropical Storm Nicole approached the Bahamas on Wednesday and Florida residents prepared for the storm, a large number of people fled from vulnerable areas in the northwest Bahamas. The National Hurricane Center of the United States predicted that it would be a hurricane by the time it struck storm-weary Florida on Wednesday night, before crossing Georgia on Thursday and the Carolinas on Friday.

In addition, the hurricane center reported Nicole “is a significant tropical storm. Winds with tropical storm force extend up to 460 kilometers from the center, mainly to the north.”

New warnings and watches were issued for a large portion of the state, including the southern Gulf coast that was ravaged by Category 4 Hurricane Ian on September 28. Throughout the state, it wrecked homes and damaged crops, particularly orange groves.

As Nicole approaches, a large number of Floridians are still battling with floods caused by torrential rains dumped by Ian across much of the state’s central region.

After traversing Florida, Nicole is anticipated to continue across the state’s central and northern regions, then into southern Georgia on Thursday, and the Carolinas on Friday.

Many Florida school districts canceled classes on Wednesday and Thursday in preparation.

At least three counties in Florida, Flagler, Palm Beach, and Volusia, issued evacuation orders for barrier islands, low-lying areas, and mobile homes. The order to evacuate went into force on Wednesday morning. The seventh-busiest airport in the United States, Orlando International Airport, will suspend commercial operations until it is safe to resume flights. In addition, Palm Beach International Airport was scheduled to close.

President Biden proclaimed a state of emergency in Florida and ordered federal aid to bolster state, tribal, and local response operations to the approaching hurricane early Wednesday morning. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is continuously assisting hurricane Ian victims.

Nicole was anticipated to make landfall in the Bahamas for the first time since Hurricane Dorian, a Category 5 hurricane that devastated the archipelago in 2019.

On Wednesday morning, officials in the Bahamas reported that only a handful of individuals occupied the more than two dozen newly opened shelters.

Andrea Newbold, a member of the Disaster Management Unit for Social Services, urged everyone to take the situation seriously. “Do not procrastinate until the last minute.”

As the hurricane approaches, Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis, who is attending the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, has mobilized all government resources.

“There have always been storms, but as the earth heats due to carbon emissions, the strength and frequency of storms are increasing,” he said. “I know it is extremely difficult for individuals in Grand Bahama and Abaco to face another storm,” Davis said, referring to the islands worst impacted by Dorian.

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