What is the forecast for Hurricane Nicole? What states will be affected by high winds and heavy rain?
The tropical storm moved through Florida and towards Georgia on Thursday night and looks set to continue heading north this weekend.
Hurricane Nicole made landfall in Florida earlier this week and devastated stretches of the coast before moving inland. Florida’s eastern shore saw widespread power outages thought to have affected close to 300,000 people and flooded areas right up the coast. So far at least two people have died as a result of the storm.
Since making landfall Nicole has slowed to a tropical storm, but continued to bring 35mph sustained winds as of 10pm (ET) Thursday evening.
Where will Tropical Storm Nicole hit next?
Analysts are confident that winds speeds will continue to slow and the threat to life and property is nowhere near as severe as it was earlier this week.
The epicentre of Nicole is now just north of Atlanta, Georgia and is expected to continue on a north-easterly route past the Carolinas and Virginia, reaching West Virginia in the early hours of Saturday morning.
There are now tornado watch warnings in place for southeast Georgia, eastern and southern South Carolina and parts of southern North Carolina.
Kim Stenson, head of the South Carolina emergency management division, warned: “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.”
Meteorologists suggest that eastern, central and northern areas of Florida will receive up to 8 inches of rain through Saturday, with heavy rain also expected from the southeast of the United States through to the western mid-Atlantic.
Hurricane Nicole collapses houses along the Atlantic coast
Nicole became the first hurricane-strength storm to make landfall on Florida’s Atlantic coast since Hurricane Katrina this week, bringing vast waves crashing into building along the shore. Numerous waterfront buildings and roads have been washed away in the storm and large areas have been evacuated.
The storm has largely missed the areas of southwest Florida that were struck by Hurricane Ian in September and caused billions of dollars’ worth of damage and dozens of deaths.
It is rare for a storm of the scale of Nicole to occur in November, traditionally the tail end of the Atlantic hurricane season, a sign that the period of tropical storm activity is widening.
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