Florida prepares for Hurricane Nicole. It anticipates strong winds and flooding.

Nicole strengthened into a storm Wednesday as it neared Florida's coast, prompting evacuation orders that included former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago club.

The storm that was heading for Florida grew into Hurricane Nicole Wednesday afternoon. This prompted evacuation orders in certain parts of the state, including former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago.

GOP Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis stated that Nicole became a hurricane and would bring “coastal flooding, heavy winds and rain”

DeSantis stated that winds are the greatest concern and that significant power outages can occur. However, 16,000 linemen were available to restore power. 600 guardsmen were also on standby.

DeSantis stated that the storm would “affect huge parts of Florida all day” and was referring to the storm’s likely landing.



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The governor stated that nearly two dozen schools were closing their doors in preparation for the storm, and that 15 shelters were open along the east coast of Florida.

On Wednesday night, Nicole was expected to travel to Florida and unleash a storm wave that could further damage beaches damaged by Hurricane Ian in September. She will then head into Georgia and the Carolinas on Thursday and Friday. The storm surge was expected to bring heavy rains across the region.

Two beach-goers take to the Hollywood Beach boardwalk when conditions are deteriorating with Hurricane Nicole approaching, Wednesday, November 9, 2022 in Hollywood Beach, Fla.

According to the Miami-based National Hurricane Center, Nicole’s center was 100 miles east from West Palm Beach, Florida on Wednesday night. It sustained maximum winds of 75 mph, and moved west at 13 mph.

As it made landfall on Grand Bahama, the storm surge became a hurricane. It had already made landfall hours earlier on Great Abaco Island as a tropical storm with sustained winds of 70 mph.

Nicole is the first hurricane to strike the Bahamas since Hurricane Dorian in 2019. This Category 5 storm devastated the archipelago in 2019.

The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office in Florida stated via Twitter that Tropical Storm Nicole’s storm surge had breached the seawall along Indian River Drive. This road runs parallel to the Atlantic Ocean. Martin County Sheriff’s Office also stated that seawater had damaged part of Hutchinson Island’s road.

Flagler, Palm Beach and Martin counties in Florida were all ordered to evacuate low-lying areas, barrier islands and mobile homes. Volusia is home to Daytona Beach. They imposed a curfew, and warned that the intercoastal bridges used for evacuation would be closed if winds reach 39 mph.



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Mar-a-Lago is Trump’s club and residence. It is located about a quarter-mile from the ocean in one of these evacuation zones. The property is situated on a small rise at 15 feet above the sea level. It has been through many stronger hurricanes since its construction nearly 100 years ago.

Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla. Former President Trump, Tuesday, November 8, 2022 (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Around 400 people were evacuated from Palm Beach County to seven evacuation centers. Officials in Daytona Beach Shores declared unsafe at least half a dozen multi-story coastal residential buildings that were damaged by Hurricane Ian. Now, Nicole is threatening them. Authorities went door to door, telling residents to take their belongings and move on.

Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort announced that they would close early Wednesday morning and will not reopen on Thursday as planned.

Waves break on Cocoa Beach Pier when Tropical Storm Nicole arrives Wednesday, November 9, 2022 in Cocoa Beach (Fla.) (Ricardo Ramirez/Orlando Sentinel via AP

Palm Beach International Airport was closed Wednesday morning. Daytona Beach International Airport announced that it would also cease operations. The seventh busiest airport in the United States, Orlando International Airport, was also closed. Officials further south reported that both Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (Miami International Airport) were experiencing delays and cancellations, but they planned to stay open.

One hundred and five of Florida’s 67 counties were in a state emergency declaration.



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Kevin Guthrie, Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, said that Floridians should be prepared for possible tornadoes as well as rip currents or flash flooding.


This report was contributed by The Associated Press.

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