Hurricane Nicole: Two Floridians Killed by Downed Power Line

by Craig Garrett
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Two people were killed by electrocution from a downed power line as Hurricane Nicole made landfall in Florida. The hurricane has since been downgraded to a tropical storm, the New York Post reports. On Thursday, a man and woman died after being shocked by live power lines at the intersection of Bayfront Parkway and Pershing Avenue. According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OSCO), crews responded to Conway around 9:30 a.m.

The man who was killed had gotten out of his car before coming into contact with the power line that was still live, the OSCO said in a post on Facebook. He was found unresponsive by deputies and later pronounced dead. The female victim, who was traveling with the man, suffered injuries so severe that she later died in transport to the hospital, the sheriff’s office said.

“Never touch a downed power line,” the sheriff’s office wrote on social media. “If you are driving and see a downed power line, change directions immediately.” The sheriff’s office also advised all individuals to take extra caution when going outside during the storm.

According to NBC News, Nicole made landfall on Florida’s Atlantic coast as a rare November hurricane early Thursday morning. However, it was downgraded to a tropical storm shortly after. The storm hit Great Abaco, an island in the Bahamas located 185 miles east of West Palm Beach.

Hurricane Nicole is the latest a storm of its kind has hit Florida

On Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for dozens of counties in anticipation of the storm. As of Thursday, at least 45 counties are under a state of emergency. The Florida governor said 16,000 utility linemen would be ready to immediately start restoring service, and 600 National Guard troops would be available to help if needed.

Nicole will still have 50-mph sustained winds at 10 a.m. ET Thursday and be centered about 30 miles northeast of Tampa, moving west-northwest at 16 mph. Up to 8 inches of rain could drench eastern, central and northern portions of Florida through Saturday.

The US southeast, southern and central Appalachians, and western mid-Atlantic are expecting 2 to 6 inches of precipitation from Nicole, the hurricane center said. Nicole is expected to weaken to a depression early Friday before becoming a post-tropical cyclone over the Southeast.

Many schools, colleges and universities closed because of the storm’s massive size, along with hundreds of flights being cancelled and amusement parks shutting down. Orlando International Airport stopped Wednesday afternoon while Miami International Airport only warned people about cancellations but didn’t plan to close.

Nicole’s landfall on Thursday was the latest a hurricane has ever struck Florida’s Atlantic coast in an entire calendar year. This beats the record set by the Yankee Hurricane, which hit Florida’s east coast on November 4th, 1935.