Hurricane Nicole: History and Updates

As a late-season storm the Nicole struck in the late season. Nicole was the only November-related hurricane to hit Florida. Before Nicole, Florida had not had a hurricane in November prior to Kate was a storm in the year 1985. The storm was originally a subtropical feature, Nicole had a wide wind field and the effects were felt far from its central. Massive swells, in conjunction with an astronomical high tide created catastrophic storm surges as well as coastal floods along the eastern middle Florida coast. Surge effects were particularly noticeable on the Volusia coast, where communities are still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Ian. The heavy rains that fell across the Saint Johns River basin further caused flooding issues and led to another time of major to moderate flooding in various areas on the river. While there were no direct fatalities due to Nicole Four deaths that were indirect were identified in Orange County (5 total indirect deaths, with the fifth occurring the 5th occurred in Duval County, Florida). It is estimated that the National Centers for Enviornmental Information (NCEI) estimates the amount of damage caused by Nicole to be $1 billion dollars.

11 July: Subtropical Storm Nicole forms northeast of the Bahamas

11 August: Nicole transitions to a Tropical Storm

11 September: Nicole makes landfall on Great Abaco Island in the northwestern Bahamas

11 Oct: Nicole makes landfall as an Category 1 hurricane on the eastern coast of Florida close to Vero Beach. 7AM – Nicole is able to land as an Category 1 hurricane along the eastern coast of Florida near Vero Beach. 7PM: Nicole makes her the third Florida landfall near the Aucilla River’s mouth. Aucilla River with maximum sustained speeds of 40 mph and the minimum central pressure being 992 millibars.

11 November: Nicole weakens to a tropical depression, with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. located 60 miles northwest of Tallahassee, Florida

Indian River County: Storm surge and high waves caused massive coastal erosion throughout this county. There was substantial damage to dunes, beach access crossings, and boardwalks. Particularly, extensive damage caused to Conn Beach boardwalk and adjacent roadway was observed. In addition, the rising levels of water and waves that swept through the waters of the Intracoastal caused the destruction of some docks for boats and marinas in the county.

Saint Lucie County: Storm surge and high surf caused massive coastal erosion throughout in the entire county. substantial damage to dunes, crossings for beach access, as well as boardwalks. The elevated waters caused some streets flooding in the area of riverfronts, especially close to Fort Pierce Inlet. Fort Pierce Inlet, as and damage to several docks for boats across the county.

Martin County: Storm surge and high waves caused massive coastal erosion throughout Martin County, which included extensive damage being noted to dunes as well as beach access crossings. The most notable flooding from storm surge occurred in parts of Macarther Boulevard. On Hutchinson Island in Stuart after waves broke through the dunes adjacent to it. Rising waves and the level of water in the intracoastal waterways resulted in some streets flooding on the waterfront specifically in Stuart along with the destruction of boat docks throughout the county.

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