- Two state universities — the University of Central Florida and Florida Atlantic University — announced operational closures on Nov. 9th and 10th in anticipation of Hurricane Nicole’s landfall
- Both universities state that they will conduct damage assessments following the storm’s passing to adequately provide a reopening timeline
- 16 public school districts have also announced school closures through at least Wednesday and Thursday for K-12 institutions
- Hurricane Nicole is expected to make impact on Florida’s east coast by Wednesday night as a Category 1 storm
The University of Central Florida (UCF) and Florida Atlantic University (FAU) both announced campus closures through the remainder of the week in anticipation of Hurricane Nicole’s landfall.
The move comes as parts of south and central Florida were placed under a Hurricane Watch on Tuesday. Forecasters also warn that the combination of Nicole’s perpendicular track aiming straight into the Florida peninsula, strong winds from the east, and the timing of tidal forces – and higher tides – will increase the impact on coastal areas between West Palm Beach and Jacksonville Beach, and in some cases could be more damaging than Ian.
A water level rise of several feet is expected wherever the storm makes landfall and to the north of that point. A broad zone of storm surge from between Florida’s Space Coast to Daytona Beach could exceed 6 feet.
Both schools will cease classes and campus activities on Nov. 9th, and 10th, remaining closed through Friday, Nov. 11th in observance of Veteran’s Day.
“Though Tropical Storm Nicole’s impact is forecast to be weaker than Hurricane Ian, we are making these decisions in the interest of our community’s safety and well-being,” said UCF officials. “We encourage you to use this time to take storm preparations seriously and to stay indoors and off the road once tropical storm-force conditions arrive late Wednesday afternoon.”
In response, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a state of emergency in 34 counties statewide, including Palm Beach and Orange counties, where FAU and UCF are located, respectively.
“While this storm does not, at this time, appear that it will become much stronger, I urge all Floridians to be prepared and to listen to announcements from local emergency management officials,” DeSantis said. “We will continue to monitor the trajectory and strength of this storm as it moves towards Florida.”
In addition to state universities, elementary, middle, and high schools have announced closures through at least Wednesday and Thursday, with many school districts entirely shutting down.
As of 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8, Nicole is expected to strengthen throughout the day as it approaches Florida’s east coast and makes landfall as a Category 1 hurricane.
The storm presents an increased risk of damaging wind for much of south Florida beginning Wednesday. Excessive rainfall and flooding are possible over parts of the region both Wednesday and Thursday, with significant coastal impacts including high seas, rough surf, and beach erosion throughout the remainder of the week.
Both universities state that they will conduct assessments of their campuses and local conditions following the storm to adequately impose a reopening timeline.