Florida Responds to Impacts from Tropical Storm Nicole
Today, Governor Ron DeSantis was at the State Emergency Operations Center to monitor and issue updates on Tropical Storm Nicole. Nicole made landfall as a Category 1 Hurricane near Vero Beach early Thursday and has weakened to a Tropical Storm as it moves through the Florida peninsula. Tropical Storm Nicole is expected to move up the west coast of Florida and through the Big Bend. To watch the Governor’s full remarks, click here.
On Monday, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order (EO) 22-253, declaring a State of Emergency for 34 counties in the potential path of Tropical Storm Nicole to encourage emergency preparations. Today, Governor DeSantis expanded the State of Emergency to all 67 counties due to potential impacts as the storm moves across the state.
As of 10:00AM EST, Tropical Storm Nicole was located 30 miles northeast of Tampa, Florida, with maximum sustained winds of 50mph and moving west-northwest at 16mph. Floridians are reminded to stay indoors and take safety precautions against Nicole’s widespread impacts of coastal and river flooding, storm surge, rainfall, heavy winds, tornadoes, rip currents and beach erosion.
The following Watches and Warnings are in effect:
- Tropical Storm Warning: Gadsden, Liberty, Franklin, Leon, Wakulla, Taylor, Madison, Lafayette, Hamilton, Suwanee, Columbia, Union, Baker, Dixie, Gilchrist, Levy, Alachua, Bradford, Clay, Putnam, Nassau, Duval, St. Johns, Flagler, Marion, Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, Lake, Sumter, Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Polk, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, Hendry, Glades, Highlands, Hardee, DeSoto, Broward, Palm Beach, Okeechobee, Osceola, Orange, and Seminole counties.
- Storm Surge Warning: Brevard, Citrus, Clay, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Hernando, Indian River, Jefferson, Levy, Martin, Nassau, Pasco, Putnam, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Taylor, Volusia, and Wakulla Counties.
- Storm Surge Watch: Franklin County
- Flood Watch: Nassau, Duval, Clay, St. Johns, Flagler, Putnam, Marion, Sumter, Volusia, Brevard, Orange, Seminole, Lake, Osceola, Indian River, Polk Hardee, DeSoto, Highlands, Okeechobee, St. Lucie, and Martin counties.
The state remains in constant communication with the National Hurricane Center, the National Weather Service and county emergency management officials of all 67 counties ahead of impacts from Tropical Storm Nicole. State preparedness and response efforts include:
Search and Rescue
- There are nearly 600 National Guardsmen activated on standby to perform search and rescue once weather clears.
- Seven of Florida’s Urban Search and Rescue teams are on standby and ready to respond to Tropical Storm Nicole, one team remains in Lee County in response to Hurricane Ian.
- As of 12:00 PM, there are currently nearly 355,000 accounts without power.
- For a full report on current outages, click here.
- More than 17,000 linemen from utilities across the state are staged to immediately begin power restoration efforts as soon as it is safe to do so.
Florida Division of Emergency Management
- At Governor DeSantis’ request, FEMA has approved an Emergency Declaration for Tropical Storm Nicole. FEMA Public Assistance Category B (emergency protective measures) has been approved for Alachua, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, DeSoto, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Jefferson, Lake, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sumter, Taylor, Volusia and Wakulla counties, as well as the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
- FDEM is leading the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) for the Tropical Storm Nicole response.
- FDEM has activated the State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) to provide an additional resource for Floridians to receive up-to-date information regarding Tropical Storm Nicole, as well as Hurricane Ian recovery resources. Residents and visitors can call this toll-free hotline at 1-800-342-3557.
- FDEM Liaisons are being deployed to Brevard, Indian River, Lake, Martin, Orange, Seminole, St. Lucie and Volusia counties at their request to provide on-site response assistance and to conduct damage assessments after the storm.
- FDEM is deploying shelter support staff to address staffing needs in counties that have opened their public hurricane shelters.
- FDEM has deployed 18 pallets of water to Orange County and is staging additional commodities to ensure food and water are readily available if counties request it.
- Seven Urban Search and Rescue teams are prepared to deploy to impacted areas, with one USAR team assisting Southwest Florida with Hurricane Ian recovery efforts.
- The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) issued a memorandum for emergency response vehicles to bypass weigh stations in response to Tropical Storm Nicole and coordinated with Georgia and Tennessee to allow Florida-bound utility convoys to bypass their state’s weigh stations.
Roadways and Bridges
- 258 crews are staged and ready to deploy in areas once the winds have lessened to allow safe operations to assess damage, flooding, and power outages at traffic signals as well as perform bridge inspections and cut and toss operations to clear roadways.
- State Drawbridges in Brevard, Broward, Martin, Palm Beach, St. Lucie, and Volusia Counties are locked down for marine traffic. Bridges will remain open to vehicular traffic as long as weather safely permits.
- All active construction sites within the projected impact areas have been secured and prepared for severe weather conditions.
- Drainage structures within the projected impact areas have been cleaned and cleared of debris in preparation for the storm.
Roadway and Bridge Closures
- N. Ocean Dr. closed in both directions at Sheridan St.
- N. Ocean Dr. closed in both directions at Michigan St.
- SR-A1A Southbound from Viramar St. to Auramar St. All lanes closed.
- E Oakland Park Blvd. Westbound at Intracoastal Waterway. All lanes closed.
- S. Oceanshore Blvd./ S.R. A1A closed in both directions from S. 7th St. to S. 16th St.
- MANATEE COUNTY
- Sunshine Skyway Bridge
- I-4 East, ramp to MM 71 (Central Florida Pkwy)
- Florida’s Turnpike North ramp to Exit 272 (SR-50)
- Florida’s Turnpike North ramp from Exit 267B (SR-50)
- Florida’s Turnpike North ramp from Exit 267A (SR-429)
- SR-429 North ramp from Exit 24 (SR-438/Plant St.)
- PALM BEACH
- E Ocean Ave Both Directions at Intracoastal Waterway
- S Ocean Blvd Northbound at Ibis Way
- Bridge on I-275 South, before MM 13. All lanes closed
- Sunshine Skyway Bridge
- Bridge of Lions
- Coastal Hwy both Directions at Carcaba Rd.
- Coastal Hwy Both Directions from Poplar Ave. to Surfside Ave.
- W King St. both Directions from S Ponce de Leon Blvd to Sebastian Harbor Dr.
- May St. at Douglas Ave
- Vilano Beach Bridge Both Directions at Magnolia Ave.
- SR-A1A Southbound at Barrataria Dr.
- Old A1A Northbound at Ocean Shore Blvd.
- North Causeway Bridge
- South Causeway Bridge
- Veterans Memorial Bridge
- Dunlawton Bridge
- Seabreeze Bridge
- S Oceanshore Blvd Both Directions at Clubhouse Dr.
- All ports currently have adequate fuel supplies and are staging appropriate measures to be well-positioned after the storm to quickly reinstate operations and keep fuel supplies moving.
- The following seaports are CLOSED:
- Port Canaveral
- Port Fernandina
- Port of Fort Pierce
- Port Miami
- Port St. Pete
- The following airports are CLOSED:
- Daytona Beach International
- Orlando International
- Orlando Sanford International
- Melbourne Orlando International
- Northeast Florida Regional
- Vero Beach Municipal
- Passenger Rail:
- Silver Star #91 & 92 cancelled from Jacksonville to Miami
- Auto Train #52 & 53 cancelled
- Silver Meteor #97 cancelled
- Silver Meteor #98 cancelled from Miami to Jacksonville
- TriRail- Service suspended
- SunRail- Service suspended
- Brightline- Service suspended
- Freight Rail:
- SCFE- monitoring storm and performing routine storm prep. Daily train from Clewiston to Ft. Pierce suspended for 11/10.
- First Coast Railroad- Service suspended
- Regional Rail-
- Port Manatee railroad, Florida Central Railroad, Florida Midland Railroad & Florida Northern Railroad closed
- The following agencies are CLOSED:
- St. Johns County/Sunshine Bus
- Space Coast Area Transit
- CitrusConnection/Polk County
- Pasco County
- Gainesville RTS
- Indian River
- St. Lucie
- Martin County
- Palm Tran
- Space Florida, partner facilities, Kennedy Space Center, and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station are closed
Health and Human Services
- The State Surgeon General signed Emergency Order 22-253 which allows pharmacists to dispense up to a 30-day emergency prescription refill of maintenance medication to persons who reside in an area or county covered under this Executive Order and to emergency personnel who have been activated by their state or local agency but who do not reside in an area or county covered by this Executive Order.
- DOH has coordinated with the Office of Insurance Regulation to distribute an alert regarding permitted early prescription refills during a State of Emergency. This alert was sent to health insurers, managed care organizations, health entities, and licensed health care providers. The alert can be found here.
- DOH is supporting 25 Special Needs Shelter operations, sheltering more than 860 individuals, in areas impacted by Hurricane Nicole.
- In Volusia County, DOH has 25 ambulances and 10 paratransit busses staged to respond to needs in areas impacted by Tropical Storm Nicole.
- As of Thursday morning, 11 health care facilities have evacuated through Osceola, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, and Volusia counties.
- The State Surgeon General has signed a letter to allow staff of the Department and Agency for Health Care Administration to travel past curfews across state lines to conduct any necessary health and safety actions, this can be found here.
- AHCA has activated reporting in the Health Facility Reporting System (HFRS) and is requesting all health care providers report their census, available beds, evacuation status and generator status information. This information allows AHCA to assist health care providers in transferring patients if needed and ensure health care providers in impacted areas have the necessary resources and adequate power.
- The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) contacted its APD-licensed group homes around the state to ensure they were prepared for Tropical Storm Nicole and to find out if any homes were evacuating. 8 group homes have temporarily relocated inland due to Tropical Storm Nicole.
- The Florida Department of Education is consistently updating their website with school district closures, as well as State University System and Florida College System Closures.
- FDLE is conducting planning calls with all law enforcement partners to assess needs.
- FDLE has established teams ready to deploy following the storm.
- FWC officers in all 67 Florida counties have been placed on heightened alert status, in anticipation of wind damage, beach erosion, heavy rains and flooding because of Tropical Storm Nicole.
- FWC officers from outside the projected path are on standby and ready to deploy when needed. They will respond with a variety of specialized equipment, including shallow draft boats, ATVs, airboats and four-wheel drive vehicles. These assets do not include local FWC officers in potentially affected areas, who will be immediately available to respond after the storm passes.
- FHP continues to monitor roadways and bridges and is in communication with law enforcement, transportation, and emergency management partners to identify and assist with any response efforts.
- More than 1,700 sworn FHP members are ready to assist with enhanced response efforts.
- FHP’s unmanned aerial vehicle teams are prepared to assist in search and rescue and damage assessment efforts.
- FWC is directing the public to myfwc.com/notices/ for information about wildlife management areas, fish management areas, shooting ranges and FWC office closures due to the forecasted effects of Tropical Storm Nicole.
- FHP is maintaining high visibility on interstate systems, bridges, and rest areas. Motorists can report disabled vehicles or dangerous driving conditions to *FHP (*347).
- FLHSMV has issued Emergency Order 110722, which:
- Waives specific requirements for commercial motor vehicles providing emergency relief; and
- Waives the replacement fees for driver’s license and identification credentials, vehicle registrations and titles, vessel registrations and titles and temporary parking permits for impacted individuals.
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
- Following the issuance of the Governor’s Executive Order, DEP has issued an Emergency Final Order to expedite necessary repair, replacement and restoration of structures, equipment, surface water management systems, works and other systems made necessary by Subtropical Storm Nicole, as well as setting forth streamlined requirements for the management of storm debris.
- DEP issued an Amended Emergency Final Order to incorporated additional counties included in the Governor’s Amended Executive Order.
- All significant Hazardous Waste facilities within the affected counties have been contacted to ensure all pre-storm landfall preparations are being made.
- Beach assessment teams are prepared to quickly deploy to evaluate storm impacts as soon as conditions allow.
- Nine disaster debris management sites (DDMSs) have been authorized for Hurricane Nicole. DDMSs are a critical component of expediting clean-up, reducing environmental and public health impacts, and meeting federal reimbursement requirements.
- Florida state park closures can be found here.
- Visitors with existing camping and cabin reservations at impacted parks will be notified of their reservation status.
- National Estuarine Research Reserve and Aquatic Preserve closures can be found at https://floridadep.gov/rcp/aquatic-preserve.
- The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has activated the private sector hotline at 850-815-4925 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Eastern Time. Inquiries may also be emailed to ESF18@em.myflorida.com.
- DEO has activated the Business Damage Assessment Survey to gauge the impact of Hurricane Nicole on Florida businesses. To , visit FloridaDisaster.Biz.
- DEO is updating FloridaDisaster.biz with real-time information for business owners to prepare their businesses, families and employees for Tropical Storm Nicole.
- Secretary of State Cord Byrd issued an emergency order suspending important deadlines for those in affected counties to ensure all votes are counted accurately while the state responds to Tropical Storm Nicole. Find more information on this order here.
- For the latest updates on closures of state facilities, visit Florida Department of Management Services/Building Closures or call the Florida DMS Emergency Information Hotline: 888-FDMS-EIL (888-336-7345).
- 20 mobile Starlink hotspot locations in areas impacted by Hurricane Ian will remain closed Thursday, November 10 and will re-open at 8:00am on Friday, November 11.
- The Florida Commission on Offender Review field offices in Bradford, Brevard, DeSoto, Duval, Hillsborough, and Martin counties are closed.
- VA Outpatient Clinics in the storm’s path are closed today. Appointments are being rescheduled. Clinics are closed Friday for Veterans Day and will reopen Monday.
- CareerSource Florida Network centers across the state are experiencing changes to their operations as a result of Tropical Storm Nicole. To find out if the CareerSource center nearest you is experiencing a change in operations or a temporary closure, please visit https://lcd.floridajobs.org/.
- Due to Tropical Storm Nicole, the Lottery’s West Palm Beach, Orlando, Tampa, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, and Headquarters Offices will be closed to employees and the public on Thursday, November 10.
- FLHSMV driver license and motor vehicle service center closures can be found here.