(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, 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.
Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.