November 9, 2022 Hurricane Nicole news

By Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 12:17 AM ET, Thu November 10, 2022
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10:24 p.m. ET, November 9, 2022

Flood warning in effect for St. Johns River in Florida

From CNN's Haley Brink

A flood warning is in effect until further notice for the St. Johns River near Astor and Deland in Florida, according to the National Weather Service office in Melbourne.

“The forecast point at Astor is rising quickly due to north to northeast winds causing a backup of levels at the southern end of Lake George,” the weather service said. “The forecast point at Deland is currently rising quickly due to a combination of northeast winds and 1 to 2 inches of rainfall that has already fallen associated with Hurricane Nicole.”

The river gauge at Astor is quickly approaching major flood stage (4 feet) and is forecast to crest at 4.2 feet early Thursday morning. At 4 feet, “major flooding occurs, with water entering the first story of many homes and businesses along the river,” according to the weather service. “Some roads inaccessible and rescues likely needed.”

The river gauge at DeLand is quickly approaching moderate flood stage (4.8 feet) and is forecast to crest around 4.9 feet on Friday. At 4.8 feet, “water starts to enter low lying buildings around Hontoon Island,” according to the weather service. “Many secondary roads and homes in low lying areas are flooded.”

Both of these river gauges along the St. Johns River have been in flood stage since Hurricane Ian brought flooding rains to the region just six weeks ago.

6:33 p.m. ET, November 9, 2022

Nicole strengthens into a hurricane

From CNN's Haley Brink

Nicole has now strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane and has sustained winds of 75 mph, according to the latest update from the National Hurricane Center.

“Recent observations from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that Nicole has strengthened into a hurricane,” the center said.

The storm is currently 25 miles east-northeast of Freeport, Bahamas, and 105 miles to the east of West Palm Beach, Florida. Hurricane Nicole continues to track westward at 12 mph toward Florida’s east coast with an expected landfall after midnight.

5:55 p.m. ET, November 9, 2022

Authorities won't "come to drag you out of your house" if residents don't evacuate, Nassau County sheriff says

From CNN’s Joe Sutton

Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper speaks during a news conference on November 9.
Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper speaks during a news conference on November 9. (WJXT)

Authorities in Nassau County, Florida, held a news conference Wednesday afternoon to inform residents of the evacuation orders for portions of the county in anticipation of impacts from Tropical Storm Nicole. 

The evacuation orders were issued for residents who reside in Zones A and D, Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said at the news conference.

Zone A includes Amelia Island beaches and low areas, according to the county evacuation plan. Zone D includes the areas of Nassauville, Blackrock, Pirates Woods and Chester, according to the county evacuation plan

We’re not going to come to drag you out of your house -- if you’re in the evacuation zones and you don’t leave, then it’s your responsibility to take care of yourself," the sheriff said.

Nassau County is in the northeast corner of Florida along the Atlantic Ocean and Interstate 95, north of Jacksonville.

5:32 p.m. ET, November 9, 2022

Residents and visitors in South Carolina need to prepare for Tropical Storm Nicole, authorities say

From CNN’s Joe Sutton

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division is alerting residents and visitors to prepare for likely impacts from Tropical Storm Nicole later this week.

Residents “should monitor Tropical Storm Nicole, which could affect many parts of the state after making landfall along (the) east coast of Florida. Forecasters with the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center believe South Carolina could experience periods of heavy rain, gusty winds, tornadoes and storm surge due to Tropical Storm Nicole, with the greatest impacts beginning Thursday and lasting into Friday,” SCEMD said in a Wednesday news release

The agency is also asking residents to have their emergency plans in place.

“The exact location and the severity of what Tropical Storm Nicole does to our state will depend on its intensity,” SCEMD Director Kim Stenson said. “Given the uncertainty of the storm’s strength and path as it approaches South Carolina, residents need to have their personal emergency plans ready to go just in case we need to take safety precautions later in the week.”

The agency said it is working with local and state agencies in preparation for Nicole. 

5:02 p.m. ET, November 9, 2022

Restaurant owners prepare and brace for the incoming storm

From CNN’s Leyla Santiago 

Jorge Morales and Karla Llanes are seen putting up storm panels on their restaurant, Nini's Cuban Restaurant, on Wednesday, November 9.
Jorge Morales and Karla Llanes are seen putting up storm panels on their restaurant, Nini's Cuban Restaurant, on Wednesday, November 9. (Leyla Santiago/CNN)

Jorge Morales and Karla Llanes, who both own Nini's Cuban Restaurant, were putting up the last storm panel on their business Wednesday afternoon in Melbourne, Florida, as they prepared for Tropical Storm Nicole.

The storm is expected to hit Florida Wednesday as a Category 1 hurricane.

"We are trying to do everything possible (to prepare) right now," Llanes said. "We have a generator."

Power remained her biggest concern because it could result in loss of business. 

"We know it’s going to be out because of the winds," Llanes said.

Every day that goes by without power, we may have to remain closed," Llanes said.

Brevard County has four shelters open right now. Rachel Horst, Brevard County spokesperson, tells CNN there are about 30 individuals at the shelters. Horst also emphasized the county does not close causeways before a storm to give residents every opportunity to evacuate.

5:02 p.m. ET, November 9, 2022

St. Lucie County sheriff urges all visitors to exit barrier islands and closes bridges ahead of Tropical Storm Nicole

From CNN’s Joe Sutton

As Tropical Storm Nicole tracks closer to Florida's east coast, authorities in St. Lucie County will close bridges that connect to the barrier islands.

"Due to deteriorating conditions, the bridges to the barrier islands will close at 4:00 p.m. today," St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara said in a statement on Twitter.

All visitors must exit the island," the sheriff's statement read.

The sheriff’s department also said that the storm surge from Nicole had breached a sea wall in the county.

"The storm surge from Tropical Storm Nicole has breached the sea wall along Indian River Drive ... Barricades will be in place through the duration of this storm. Please use alternate routes," the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office said in a tweet on Wednesday afternoon.

4:34 p.m. ET, November 9, 2022

Nicole remains a tropical storm, still expected to become a hurricane before landfall in Florida

From CNN Meteorologist Brandon Miller

Nicole is still a tropical storm, according to the 4 p.m. ET update from the National Hurricane Center, maintaining top sustained winds of 70 mph as it moves across the northern Bahamas.

The storm is “bringing a dangerous storm surge and strong winds to Grand Bahama Island,” the center said in the advisory.

Tropical Storm Nicole’s center is about 135 miles from West Palm Beach, Florida, at 4 p.m. EST, moving toward the west at 13 mph.

Nicole is still expected to strengthen into a hurricane -- its wind speeds only need to increase by 4 mph -- before the storm makes landfall in Florida overnight.

“Nicole still has about 12 hours in which to strengthen,” the center said. “Given the slightly improved inner core structure and the warm waters of the Gulf Stream that Nicole will be traversing, the forecast still calls for the cyclone to reach hurricane status before reaching the east coast of Florida.”

Wind gusts of over 60 mph on Abaco Island and over 50 mph on Grand Bahama Island have been observed in recent hours.

4:27 p.m. ET, November 9, 2022

WATCH: Home teeters on edge of sandy cliff ahead of Tropical Storm Nicole's arrival

From CNN’s Sara Smart

Krista Goodrich captured video of damage to a property she manages in Wilbur-By-The-Sea, Florida, on Wednesday afternoon, as Tropical Storm Nicole’s winds started to hit Florida’s east coast.

Goodrich told CNN the owner of the house was in his backyard enjoying drinks with his friends Tuesday night, and by Wednesday morning the entire area was gone.

"Last night we still had about 30 feet of backyard," Goodrich said, "This morning it was all gone and parts of the properties nearby were collapsing into the ocean."

The owner of the house has since evacuated along with all the furniture and belongings inside, Goodrich said. She hopes the property will withstand the storm but fully expects it to be completely gone.

See Goodrich's videos below:

4:10 p.m. ET, November 9, 2022

WATCH: Building partially collapses as strong waves and wind hit Daytona Beach ahead of Tropical Storm Nicole

From CNN’s Sara Smart

Shaw Schofield captured scenes from Daytona Beach Wednesday as waves and strong wind led to the partial collapse of a building ahead of Tropical Storm Nicole making landfall in Florida.

See Schofield's photos and videos below: