Hurricane Nicole expected to make landfall in next few hours
SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Nicole is advancing quickly towards Florida. Her maximum sustained winds have remained at 75 mph since she became a Category 1 storm Wednesday.
The storm became a hurricane as it slammed into Grand Bahama and has potential to strengthen before it strikes Florida.
The National Hurricane Center reports the storm is now about 35 miles outside of Fort Pierce, Florida. She is projected to cause storm urges as she moves across the state in a northeast pattern.
Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for several counties in east Florida. You are urged to heed these warnings.
New warnings and watches were issued for many parts of Florida, including the southwestern Gulf coastline which was devastated by Hurricane Ian, which struck as a Category 4 storm on Sept. 28. The storm destroyed homes and damaged crops, including orange groves, across the state.
Ian lashed much of the central region of Florida with heavy rainfall, causing flooding that many residents are still dealing with as Nicole approaches. Forecasters at the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said the storm could reach hurricane strength before making landfall in Florida.
The storm is then expected to move across central and northern Florida into southern Georgia on Thursday, forecasters said. It was then expected to move across the Carolinas on Friday.
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