Evacuation Orders Ahead of Hurricane Include Mar-a-Lago

Nicole could erode Florida beaches already damaged by Ian
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 9, 2022 7:40 PM CST
Evacuation Orders Ahead of Hurricane Include Mar-a-Lago
A gust of wind blows a guest's rain poncho Wednesday on the ferry headed to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.   (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

A Florida-bound storm strengthened into Hurricane Nicole on Wednesday after pounding the Bahamas, as US officials ordered evacuations that included former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club. It's a rare November hurricane for storm-weary Florida, where only two such hurricanes have made landfall since recordkeeping began in 1853—the 1935 Yankee Hurricane and Hurricane Kate in 1985. Nicole was expected to reach Florida on Wednesday night and unleash a storm surge that could further erode many beaches hit by Hurricane Ian in September before heading into Georgia and the Carolinas later Thursday and Friday. It was expected to dump heavy rain across the region, the AP reports.

Nicole's center was 105 miles east of West Palm Beach, Florida, on Wednesday night, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said. It had maximum sustained winds of 75mph and was moving west at 12mph. The sprawling storm became a hurricane as it slammed into Grand Bahama, having made landfall just hours earlier on Great Abaco island as a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 70mph. Nicole is the first storm to hit the Bahamas since Hurricane Dorian, a Category 5 storm that devastated the archipelago in 2019. In the Bahamas, officials said that more than 860 people were in more than two dozen shelters. Extensive flooding, downed trees, and power and water outages were reported in the archipelago's northwest region.

In Florida, the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office said storm surge from Tropical Storm Nicole had already breached the sea wall along Indian River Drive. Residents in several counties—Flagler, Palm Beach, Martin, and Volusia—were ordered to evacuate such barrier islands, low-lying areas, and mobile homes. Volusia, home to Daytona Beach, imposed a curfew and warned that intercoastal bridges used by evacuees would close when winds reach 39mph. Mar-a-Lago, where Trump lives, is in one of those evacuation zones. The resort's security office hung up Wednesday when an AP reporter asked whether the club was being evacuated, and there was no sign of evacuation by early afternoon. There is no penalty for ignoring an evacuation order, but rescue crews will not respond if it puts their members at risk.

(More hurricane stories.)

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