Vero Beach. Tropical Storm Nicole blew homes off the Florida coast into the Atlantic Ocean Thursday, threatening multi-story buildings in places where Hurricane Ian destroyed boardwalks just weeks ago.
The storm, which caused at least two deaths, was the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida in a November month in 37 years, and only the third on record. He dealt another devastating blow weeks after Ian It hit the coast of the state in the Gulf of Mexico, where it caused the death of more than 130 people and destroyed thousands of houses.
Although the winds of Nicole subsided after it made landfall as a Category One hurricane around 3 a.m. Thursday near Vero Beach, its storm surge battering shorelines in the communities of Wilbur-by-the-Sea and Daytona Beach Shores, causing some houses will end up in the ocean.
Authorities in Volusia County, northeast of Orlando, said Thursday night that building inspectors had declared 24 hotels and condominiums in Daytona Beach Shores and New Smyrna Beach unsafe and had ordered them evacuated. At least 25 single-family homes in Wilbur-by-the-Sea had been declared structurally unsafe by building inspectors and were also evacuated, county officials said.
“The structural damage to our coastline is unprecedented. We have never experienced anything like this before,” County Manager George Recktenwald said during a previous press conference, noting that it is unknown when it will be safe for evacuated residents to return to their homes.
County Police Chief Mike Chitwood said on social media that several waterfront homes in Wilbur-by-the-Sea had collapsed and other properties were at “imminent risk.” He said most of the bridges leading to beachside properties had been closed to all but essential personnel, and a curfew had been imposed.
Nicole it was a large system, covering most of the state of Florida and reaching Georgia and the Carolinas before dawn Thursday. Its tropical storm-force winds extended up to 450 miles (720 kilometers) from its center in some directions as it turned northward over central Florida.
Although the winds of Nicole They caused minimal damage, their storm surge more destructive than it might have been in the past because seas are rising as the planet’s ice melts due to climate change, said Princeton University climatologist Michael Oppenheimer.