- Nicole made landfall in Florida as a hurricane early Thursday before weakening to a tropical storm
- More than 100,000 customers are without power because of the storm
- It is the third time on record a hurricane has struck Florida in November
Nicole has weakened into a tropical storm after making landfall along the east coast of Florida as a Category 1 hurricane early Thursday morning. The storm caused significant damage to some locations along the coast, toppled several buildings, while 385,000 customers are currently without power, a band stretching from Nassau County in the north to Indian River County in the south.
Brevard County appears to be the hardest hit, with about 85,000 without power in the immediate aftermath of the storm. Florida Power and Light says it has already restored power to 50,000 customers, and has 13,000 personal working on the remaining problems caused by the storm’s impact.
According to the National Hurricane Center, the system was downgraded to a tropical storm after coming ashore just south of Vero Beach.
As of 8 a.m., Nicole was 30 miles southwest of Orlando and 55 miles east of Tampa. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 60 mph and was moving west-northwest at 14 mph. Forecasters note that the system is bringing heavy rains and strong winds across central Florida, as well as dangerous storm surge.
“A turn toward the northwest and north-northwest is expected later today and tonight, followed by an acceleration toward the north and north-northeast on Friday. On the forecast track, the center of Nicole will move across central Florida this morning, possibly emerge over the far northeastern Gulf of Mexico this afternoon, and then move across the Florida Panhandle and Georgia tonight and on Friday,” the National Hurricane Center said. “Additional weakening is forecast while Nicole moves over land during the next day or two, and the storm is likely to become a tropical depression over Georgia tonight or early Friday.”
Nicole was the first hurricane to make landfall in the US this late in the season in 40 years, and the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida in the month of November since 1985.
Governor Ron DeSantis, along with Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie, are set to give an update on the storm at 10:30 a.m.