(NEW YORK) — Hurricane Nicole made landfall along Florida’s east coast early Thursday as a Category 1 storm.
At least 45 of Florida’s 67 counties are under a state of emergency due to Nicole.
Nicole formed as a subtropical storm in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean on Monday, becoming the 14th named storm of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, which ends later this month.
Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:
Nov 10, 10:05 AM EST
100 mph winds batter NASA’s Artemis moon rocket
NASA’s new moon rocket reportedly experienced 100 mph winds at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Wednesday night, as Tropical Storm Nicole took aim at the Sunshine State.
Despite the incoming storm, NASA announced in a statement on Monday evening that its Space Launch System (SLS) rocket would remain on launchpad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center, citing “current forecast data.” In another statement on Tuesday evening, NASA said that the $4.1 billion test flight — the opening shot in the space agency’s Artemis moon-exploration program — “is designed to withstand” 85 mph winds.
“Current forecasts predict the greatest risks at the pad are high winds that are not expected to exceed the SLS design,” the agency added. “The rocket is designed to withstand heavy rains at the launch pad and the spacecraft hatches have been secured to prevent water intrusion.”
NASA had been aiming for a third launch attempt on Nov. 14 but is now looking at Nov. 16, “pending safe conditions for employees to return to work, as well as inspections after the storm has passed,” the agency said.
Nov 10, 9:46 AM EST
Almost 330,000 without power in Florida due to Nicole
Nearly 330,000 customers were without power across Florida on Thursday morning due to Tropical Storm Nicole, according to data collected by PowerOutage.us.
As of 9:34 a.m. ET, a total of 329,965 customers did not have power.
Nov 10, 9:42 AM EST
Tornado threat for Florida, Georgia, Carolinas
A “few” tornadoes are possible over parts of coastal east-central and northeastern Florida on Thursday morning, according to the National Weather Service.
The tornado threat will spread northward across parts of southeastern Georgia and the Carolinas later Thursday through Friday morning.
Meanwhile, “large” swell waves generated by Nicole will affect the northwestern Bahamas, the east coast of Florida and much of the southeastern U.S. coast during the next few days.
“These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions,” the National Weather Service said in a public advisory on Thursday morning.
Nov 10, 9:38 AM EST
Nicole to bring ‘dangerous’ storm surge, ‘heavy’ rain
A “dangerous” storm surge from Tropical Storm Nicole combined with the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline, according to the National Weather Service.
If the peak occurs at the time of high tide, the National Weather Service said, the water could reach up to 5 feet above ground from Florida’s Jupiter Inlet to Georgia’s Altamaha Sound, from Florida’s St. Johns River to the Fuller Warren Bridge, and from Anclote River to Ochlockonee River in Florida.
“The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the north of the landfall location, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves,” the National Weather Service warned in a public advisory on Thursday morning.
Through Saturday, Nicole is expected to produce 3 to 5 inches of rainfall from the northwestern Bahamas into portions of the Florida Peninsula, with a maximum of 8 inches of localized rain. The southeastern United States into the central Appalachian Mountains and eastern portions of Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio could see 2 to 4 inches of rainfall, with a maximum of 6 inches of localized rain along the Blue Ridge Mountains. The northern Mid-Atlantic region into New England could get 1 to 4 inches of rainfall.
“Flash and urban flooding will be possible, along with renewed river rises on the St. Johns River, across the Florida Peninsula today,” the National Weather Service added. “Heavy rainfall from this system will spread northward across portions of the Southeast, upper Ohio Valley, Mid-Atlantic, and New England today through Saturday, where limited flooding impacts will be possible.”
Nov 10, 9:28 AM EST
Latest forecast as Nicole moves across central Florida
The center of Tropical Storm Nicole is expected to move across central Florida on Thursday morning, possibly emerging over the far northeastern Gulf of Mexico on Thursday afternoon, then move across the Florida Panhandle and Georgia on Thursday night and Friday, according to the latest forecast from the National Weather Service.
Although “additional weakening” is in the forecast, the National Weather Service warned on Thursday morning that “Nicole remains a large tropical storm” and “strong wind, dangerous storm surge and waves, and heavy rains continue over a large area.” Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 450 miles from Nicole’s center, especially to the north. Sustained winds of 49 mph with a gust of 70 mph were reported early Thursday in Daytona Beach, Florida.
According to the National Weather Service, tropical storm conditions will continue along portions of the eastern coastlines of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina in the warning areas on Thursday. Tropical storm conditions are expected to occur within the warning area along Florida’s west coast through Thursday night.
Nov 10, 7:40 AM EST
215,000 without power in Florida due to Nicole
More than 215,000 customers were without power across Florida on Thursday morning due to Tropical Storm Nicole, according to data collected by PowerOutage.us.
As of 7:04 a.m. ET, a total of 215,443 customers did not have power.
Nov 10, 6:56 AM EST
175,000 without power in Florida as Nicole moves inland
More than 175,000 customers were without power across Florida early Thursday morning, as Tropical Storm Nicole moved inland over the Sunshine State, according to data collected by PowerOutage.us.
As of 6:23 a.m. ET, a total of 177,423 customers did not have power.
Nov 10, 6:50 AM EST
Tornado watch issued for parts of Florida, Georgia
The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for northeastern Florida and southeastern Georgia on Thursday morning, in effect until 1 p.m. local time.
Brief spin-up tornadoes are common in tropical storm systems, so more watches could be issued throughout the day.
Nov 10, 5:35 AM EST
100,000 without power in Florida after Nicole’s landfall
More than 100,000 customers were without power across Florida early Thursday, shortly after Nicole made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane, according to data collected by PowerOutage.us.
Nov 10, 4:17 AM EST
Nicole weakens back into a tropical storm
Nicole weakened back into a tropical storm shortly after making landfall as a Category 1 hurricane along Florida’s east coast early Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.
The storm currently has maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour, as it moves inland across the Sunshine State. To be classified as a hurricane, a tropical cyclone must have maximum sustained winds of at least 74 mph.
Nevertheless, the National Weather Service warned that “strong winds, dangerous storm surge and waves, and heavy rains continue over a large area.”
A hurricane warning from Boca Raton to the Flagler-Volusia County line in eastern Florida has been changed to a tropical storm warning. A tropical storm warning south of Boca Raton to Hallandale Beach, Florida, has also been discontinued, along with a hurricane watch for Florida’s Lake Okeechobee.
A storm surge warning from North Palm Beach to Jupiter Inlet in eastern Florida has been discontinued. A storm surge watch south of North Palm Beach to Hallandale Beach, Florida, has also been discontinued.
All warnings have been discontinued for the northwestern Bahamas, according to the National Weather Service.
Nov 10, 3:22 AM EST
Nicole makes landfall as Category 1 hurricane in Florida
Nicole made landfall along Florida’s east coast on North Hutchinson Island, just south of Vero Beach, at 3 a.m. local time on Thursday as a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.
It’s the second-latest hurricane landfall on record in the United States.
Nov 10, 1:58 AM EST
38,000 without power in Florida ahead of Nicole’s landfall
More than 38,000 customers in Florida were without power early Thursday, ahead of Hurricane Nicole’s landfall, according to data collected by PowerOutage.us.
Nov 08, 10:11 PM EST
Latest forecast as Nicole approaches Florida
Hurricane Nicole is approaching Florida as a large Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.
The latest forecast shows Nicole touching down along Florida’s east coast after midnight but before sunrise, with one model estimating landfall between Cocoa Beach and Fort Pierce at 4 a.m. local time, although projections can change.
Hurricane warnings have been issued from West Palm Beach north to Daytona Beach, with tropical storm warnings extending inland from Miami through Tallahassee, and even extending into parts of southern Georgia and coastal South Carolina.
Nov 09, 6:15 PM EST
Nicole strengthens into hurricane
Nicole has strengthened into a hurricane while making landfall on Grand Bahama Island, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The storm has estimated maximum wind speeds of 75 mph.
Nov 09, 1:21 PM EST
Nicole may strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane before making landfall overnight near Fort Pierce. Over the next 24 hours, the biggest threats for Florida will be damaging beach erosion, storm surge up to 5 feet, isolated tornadoes and wind gusts around 70 mph.
Hurricane warnings are in effect from West Palm Beach to Daytona Beach. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for much of Florida and extend up to coastal Georgia and South Carolina.
After landfall, Nicole will quickly weaken as it moves across central Florida and the Panhandle, but it’ll bring rain, powerful winds and storm surge.
Three feet to 5 feet of storm surge is expected from West Palm Beach to Jacksonville while Florida’s Big Bend area could see 2 to 4 feet of storm surge.
The heaviest rain — 8 inches — will hit central Florida. Flash flooding is also possible.
As Nicole moves north, the heavy rain will stretch into the Mid-Atlantic and New England. Pennsylvania to Vermont could see 2 to 4 inches of rain. Philadelphia, New York City and Boston could see 2 inches of rain and gusty winds.
-ABC News’ Melissa Griffin
Nov 09, 12:01 PM EST
Nicole makes landfall in Bahamas
Tropical Storm Nicole has made landfall on Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas.
Nov 09, 11:47 AM EST
Disney World parks to close
Disney World parks will close early Wednesday evening and will remain closed through Thursday morning due to the storm.
Nov 09, 11:18 AM EST
Nicole could make landfall twice
Once Nicole makes landfall early Thursday in Martin County as a Category 1 hurricane, the storm is expected to cross the state of Florida, hit the Gulf of Mexico and possibly make landfall again along Florida’s Big Bend, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis warned.
The major concerns for Nicole are winds, flooding, beach erosion and possible tornadoes, DeSantis said.
He said 15 shelters are open for those urged to evacuate.
The governor said 16,000 linemen have been staged to immediately work on restoring power as soon as the storm passes.
Nov 09, 10:52 AM EST
Florida counties announce evacuation orders
Several of Florida’s 67 counties have announced evacuation orders in anticipation of Tropical Storm Nicole’s arrival.
Flagler County: Evacuation orders go into effect Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. local time for residents and visitors in Zone A, the barrier island from Flagler Beach to Marineland, as well as mobile homes and RVs countywide, according to the Flagler County Emergency Management.
Volusia County: Mandatory evacuations went into effect Wednesday at 10 a.m. local time for residents and visitors east of the Intercostal Waterway, all mobile homes east of Interstate 95, all low-lying areas and other areas prone to flooding as well as all campsites and RV recreational parks, according to the Volusia County Emergency Management.
Palm Beach County: Mandatory evacuations went into effect Tuesday at 7 a.m. local time for Zones A and B, including mobile homes, barrier islands and low-lying areas, according to Palm Beach Mayor Robert Weinroth.
Nov 09, 9:55 AM EST
Nicole close to hurricane strength as it heads for Florida
Tropical Storm Nicole barrelled toward the northwestern Bahamas and eastern Florida on Wednesday morning, with maximum sustained winds near 70 miles per hour — almost as a strong as a hurricane, according to the latest forecast from the National Weather Service.
To be classified as a hurricane, a tropical cyclone must have maximum sustained winds of at least 74 mph.
The center of Nicole is forecast to approach the northwestern Bahamas on Wednesday morning, move near or over those islands by midday, then approach the east coast of Florida within the hurricane warning area on Wednesday night. The storm’s center is expected to move across central and northern Florida into southern Georgia on Thursday, then across the Carolinas on Friday.
“Some strengthening is expected today, and Nicole is forecast to become a hurricane near the northwestern Bahamas and remain a hurricane when it reaches the east coast of Florida tonight,” the National Weather Service said in a public advisory on Wednesday morning. “Nicole is expected to weaken while moving across Florida and the southeastern United States Thursday through Friday, and it is likely to become a post-tropical cyclone by Friday night over the Mid-Atlantic states.”
As of early Wednesday, Nicole was already spreading gusty winds and rain showers into Florida, where it is later expected to make landfall between the southeastern cities of West Palm Beach and Melbourne as either a tropical storm or a Category 1 hurricane. Its tropical storm-force winds currently extend outward up to 460 miles, especially to the north of the center. In the early morning hours, a National Ocean Service station at the Lake Worth Pier, just south of West Palm Beach, reported sustained winds of 44 mph and a wind gust of 55 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
Because Nicole is so close to hurricane strength, the National Weather Service has issued hurricane and storm surge warnings along Florida’s east coast from Daytona Beach to West Palm Beach. Meanwhile, Miami is under a tropical storm watch and tropical storm warnings have been issued for Florida’s west coast as well as from Jacksonville up through Savannah, Georgia, to Charleston, South Carolina.
Storm surge will be the highest on the eastern coastlines of Florida and Georgia, from the border down to West Palm Beach, where water could rise as much as 5 feet above normal tide levels. Some storm surge is also possible on Florida’s west coast from Sarasota to Tampa, where water could rise as much as 3 feet and up to 4 feet in the Big Bend area and Apalachicola. Storm surge will be felt all the way to Charleston, South Carolina, where water could rise up to 4 feet.
The areas that will see the heaviest rainfall will be right where the storm touches down on Florida’s east coast, with the potential for up to 8 inches of localized rain. Heavy rain will track north and inland, into Georgia, the Appalachian Mountains from Tennessee and North Carolina to Pennsylvania and into western New York where more than 4 inches of rain is possible.
Nov 09, 5:04 AM EST
Biden approves Florida emergency declaration
President Joe Biden on Tuesday night approved an emergency declaration for Florida due to conditions resulting from Tropical Storm Nicole, according to the White House.
In anticipation of the storm’s arrival, Biden ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local response efforts, the White House said.
The emergency declaration authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all disaster relief efforts. Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize and provide at its discretion equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency, according to the White House.
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