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Nicole strengthens in Hurricane, threatens parts of Florida, including Trump’s house – The National

After hitting the Bahamas on Wednesday, the storm headed for Florida intensified to Hurricane Nicole as U.S. officials ordered evacuations, including from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club.

Only two such hurricanes have made landfall since records began in 1853: Yankee in 1935 and Hurricane Kate in 1985.

Nicole arrived in Florida Wednesday night and is expected to unleash storm surges that could further erode many of the beaches hit by Hurricane Ian in September before heading to Georgia and Carolina later on Thursday and Friday. Heavy rain was expected in various parts of the prefecture.

Nicole’s center was located 100 miles (160 km) east of West Palm Beach, Florida, Wednesday night, according to the Miami-based National Hurricane Center. It was traveling west at 13 mph (20 kmph).

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The sprawling storm turned into a hurricane when it made landfall on Great Abaco just hours earlier as a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph and slammed into Grand Bahama.

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

In the Bahamas, authorities say more than 860 people are being held in more than 20 shelters. The northwestern part of the archipelago reported extensive flooding, fallen trees, power outages and water outages.

Authorities were particularly concerned about the large Haitian community at Great Abaco, which had been destroyed by Dorian and subsequently expanded from 50 acres (20 ha) to 200 acres (80 ha).

“Don’t put yourself at risk,” Police Intelligence Deputy Commissioner Zhivago Dames urged everyone to stay indoors. “Our first responders are there. But they are not risking their lives.”

In Florida, the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office said in a tweet that the storm surge from Tropical Storm Nicole had already breached a seawall along the Indian River Drive, which runs parallel to the Atlantic Ocean. The Martin County Sheriff’s Office also said seawater had breached a section of road on Hutchinson Island.

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Residents of several Florida counties (Flagler, Palm Beach, Martin, Volusia) have been ordered to evacuate such barrier islands, lowlands and mobile homes. Volusia, home to Daytona Beach, has issued a curfew and warned that the coastal bridge used by evacuees will be closed if winds reach 39 mph.

Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s club and home, is in one of the evacuation zones built about 400 meters inland from the sea. The main building sits on a small hill about 15 feet (4.6 meters) above sea level and has survived many powerful hurricanes since it was built nearly a century ago. When an Associated Press reporter asked whether the club had been evacuated Wednesday, the resort’s security office hung up and there were no signs of an evacuation by early afternoon.

There are no penalties for ignoring evacuation orders, but rescue teams will not respond if members are in danger.

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In Palm Beach County, approximately 400 people have checked into seven shelters. Among them was the software his engineer Hidir Dontar with a backpack and a plastic bag to put his belongings. After experiencing Hurricane 2004, Francis said he didn’t want to live in his apartment because the landlord didn’t install shutters on the windows.

“I didn’t want to be in the middle of a storm and think, ‘What if something goes wrong,'” Donter said.

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Meanwhile, officials at Daytona Beach Shores have determined that at least half a dozen multi-story coastal homes already damaged by Hurricane Ian and now threatened by Nicole are at risk. In places, authorities went door to door, telling people to take their belongings and leave.

Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort announced they would be closing early on Wednesday and will likely not reopen as planned on Thursday.

Palm Beach International Airport closed Wednesday morning, and Daytona Beach International Airport announced it would cease operations. His seventh-busiest airport in the United States, Orlando International Airport, was also closed. Farther south, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Miami International Airport have experienced flight delays and cancellations, but both will remain open, officials said.

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At a press conference in Tallahassee, Gov. Ron DeSantis said wind was his biggest concern and could lead to major power outages, but as 16,000 linemen restore power said to be waiting for

“It will affect most of Florida all day long,” DeSantis said of the storm’s expected landfall.

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Nearly 20 school districts have closed schools due to the storm, and 15 shelters have opened along Florida’s east coast, according to the Florida governor.

A state of emergency has been declared in 45 of Florida’s 67 counties.

Kevin Guthrie, head of Florida’s emergency management department, said Floridians should expect tornadoes, rip currents and flash floods.

Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis, attending the COP27 UN Climate Summit, highlighted the link between storms and climate change.

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“Storms have always been there, but as carbon dioxide emissions warm the planet, storms are increasing in intensity and frequency,” he said. “We know it will be especially difficult for the people of Grand Bahama and Abaco to face another storm.”

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Strong tropical storm winds extended up to 485 miles (780 kilometers) from the center in some directions.

New warnings and monitors have been issued for many areas of Florida, including the southwest Gulf coastline devastated by Hurricane Ian, which struck as a Category 4 storm on September 28. Condition – damage that many people are still dealing with.

In Florida, “a combination of dangerous storm surges and tidal ebbs and flows will inundate normally dry areas near the coast with rising water moving inland from the coastline,” says the Hurricane Center.

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Daniel Brown, senior hurricane specialist at the Miami-based National Hurricane Center, said the storm will affect much of the state.

“Because the system is so large, almost the entire east coast of Florida will experience the strong winds of a tropical storm in the Keys, with the exception of the southeastern extremes,” he said.

The storm is then expected to move across central and northern Florida and into southern Georgia on Thursday.

“There is concern about rainfall later in the week in parts of the southeastern United States and the southern Appalachian Mountains, which could lead to flooding and flash flooding,” Brown said.

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Early Wednesday morning, President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency in Florida and ordered federal assistance to supplement state, tribal and local response efforts to the looming storm. The Federal Emergency Management Agency continues to respond to those in need of assistance after Hurricane Ian.

On Wednesday afternoon, on the beach just north of Mar-a-Lago, many people were taking video of the turbulent sea as gusts approached 40 mph.

Denny Dehaven, who works for the Social Security advocacy group, said he wasn’t too worried because he lives inland.

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“This is only Category 1. My biggest concern is power outages,” he said. “What worries me is the people who live around here after seeing what happened in Fort Myers.” brought

In a video posted to Twitter, Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood declared that the waves had already arrived and dozens of beachfront buildings were structurally unsafe. Evacuation was ordered and a curfew was issued at 7pm

“We’re looking for a really rough night here,” said Chitwood.

Coto reported from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Associated Press reporters Zeke Miller of Washington, DC and Terry Spencer of Palm Beach, Florida contributed to this report.

Nicole strengthens in Hurricane, threatens parts of Florida, including Trump’s house – The National

Source link Nicole strengthens in Hurricane, threatens parts of Florida, including Trump’s house – The National

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