Tropical Storm Nicole is expected to reach hurricane strength before reaching Florida’s east coast later today or early on Thursday according to the National Hurricane Center.
Early Wednesday morning, forecasters said Nicole is heading towards the northwest Bahamas with 70 mph winds.
The center of the storm is expected to move across northern and central Florida and southern Georgia by Thursday night threatening most of Florida and parts of southeastern states.
Some locations could see up to eight inches of water, according to the National Hurricane Center, with water levels reaching several feet above normal in parts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
The three states are under storm watches or warnings and Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency on Monday when Nicole was still a subtropical storm.
“While this storm does not, at this time, appear that it will become much stronger, I urge all Floridians to be prepared and to listen to announcements from local emergency management officials,” DeSantis said Monday. “We will continue to monitor the trajectory and strength of this storm as it moves towards Florida.”
Hendry County Emergency Management has helpful information on shelters, stocking emergency supplies and preparing for storms and evacuation here: https://www.hendryfla.net/emergency_management.php
Counties under a State of Emergency are:
Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, DeSoto, Duval, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sumter, and Volusia.
No-Cost and Low-Cost Preparedness Measures for Floridians
Visit FloridaDisaster.org/Info to find information on shelters, road closures, evacuation routes and more.