Nicole weakens to tropical storm after making landfall in Florida

Early Thursday morning, the storm was heading into central Florida. State Division of Emergency Administration Government Director Kevin Guthrie on Wednesday warned residents within the path of the storm to start getting ready.

“I urge Floridians statewide to remain indoors in a secure construction, and away from the shoreline,” Guthrie mentioned. “The following few hours are your final likelihood to usher in potential damaging objects earlier than Nicole makes landfall.”

Whereas probably harmful, Nicole shouldn’t be anticipated to be as highly effective as Hurricane Ian, which slammed into Florida’s west coast in late September as a Class 4 hurricane. That hurricane initially left greater than 2 million with out energy and induced catastrophic injury alongside some coastal areas, together with in Lee County the place the storm made landfall.

A minimum of 125 folks had been killed by hurricane Ian, many by drowning.

Florida Energy & Gentle Co. CEO and Chair Eric Silagy mentioned Wednesday morning the utility couldn’t predict the variety of clients who will lose energy. However he mentioned he expects timber to fall into energy traces as a result of the soil is saturated in South Florida and tree roots had been left weakened by Hurricane Ian.

“We hope for the perfect however we’re ready for the worst,” Silagy mentioned. “That’s why we now have introduced within the crews. We’ve our plan in place and we are going to execute on that plan.”

Silagy mentioned FPL had 13,000 staff available and was working to revive energy to clients affected by outer rain bands from Tropical Storm Nicole.

U. S. Military Corps of Engineers spokesperson James Yocum mentioned the storm doesn’t pose a threat to the strengthened Herbert Hoover Dike round Lake Okeechobee. Communities across the lake had been evacuated throughout Hurricane Irma in 2017 due to the menace to the flood management dike.

However the company mentioned with the lake at almost 16 ft above sea degree there could have to be discharges to decrease the lake and shield dike. These discharges prior to now have been blamed for algae that has compelled the closure of seashores and killed sea life.

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