Hurricane Nicole upgraded to a Category 1 storm Wednesday night after making landfall in the Bahamas.
Nicole hit Grand Bahama Island around 6 p.m. and began to pound the small local island with “dangerous storm surge and high winds” whipping around 75 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center reported.
More than 500 people in the Bahamas were evacuated from their homes and to shelters as the storm approached, officials said. Flooding and power outages were reported in Grand Abaco, where Nicole crossed like a tropical storm earlier Wednesday.
Michael Brennan, acting deputy director of the NHC, said Nicole should hit florida along the central east coast “somewhere around Palm Beach to the Treasure Coast” late Wednesday or early Thursday morning.
Nicole is then expected to move northwest through Florida toward the Gulf of Mexico before heading south into the Appalachians on Friday, Brennan said.
Although Nicole is still more than 100 miles from Flordia, the state has seen storm flooding along the east coast before, Brennan said.
Melbourne’s National Weather Service has warned Floridians along the coast of avoid the beaches as water levels are expected to rise.
Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for 34 counties in preparation for Nicole’s landfall in the Sunshine State.
Some counties ordered evacuations for mobile homes, barrier islands and low areas and at least four school districts canceled classes Thursday and Friday.
“We have 16,000 linemen staged, 600 guards activated and 7 urban search and rescue teams waiting to deploy,” DeSantis said on Twitter.
New York Post