Nicole Leaves Over 200,000 Without Power in Florida

by Emily Morgan
Photo by: Newsday LLC / Contributor

More than 210,000 homes and businesses in Florida were without power early Thursday after Hurricane Nicole slammed into the state’s east coast.

Thankfully, workers have already restored power to about half of the nearly 400,000 residents who lost electricity when the storm hit Wednesday night.

According to the National Weather Service, the Hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm soon after it made landfall on the east coast of the Sunshine State.

“Nicole continues to impact the state, but our restoration is well underway,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL at the time. “During the height of the storm in the southern part of Florida, when crews were unable to travel safely, our smart grid technology was working to restore power remotely. Now, in the areas where winds are below 35 mph, our teams are out in full force, conducting critical damage assessments and restoring power.”

The company has dedicated about 13,000 men and women to the power restoration effort, including mutual assistance from 16 other states. In addition, several local shelters are open in response to the storm.

More than 322,000 homes and businesses across Florida were without power as of 9:14 a.m. ET, as the storm made its way across the state, according to utility tracker

Brevard County, which includes Melbourne, had the highest proportion of utility customers, with outages at 23%. Indian River County, which includes Vero Beach, had the next highest, at 16%.

Officials fear Nicole’s storm surge and erosion from Hurricane Ian could cause homes to collapse

As of 10 a.m. on Thursday, the hurricane was 30 miles east of Tampa and 60 miles west-southwest of Orlando. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and was moving west-northwest at 16 mph. Additionally, the storm dumped about four inches of rain and is still going.

In addition to losing power, collapsing homes is also a risk. Previously, Florida officials warned that the combination of Nicole’s storm surge and erosion from Hurricane Ian could cause people’s homes to give in.

Now, officials are urging residents to stay off the beaches, worried that high tide and the storm surge will cause more damage. According to reports, at least one coastal home in Daytona Beach Shores has partially collapsed.

“Due to the significant wave run-up and this morning’s king tide, the shoreline waters are up to the dune lines and sea walls. Individuals must stay off the beach!” officials said in a statement.

The county includes Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach, and the barrier island communities of Daytona Beach Shores and Wilbur-By-The Sea.

“Conditions remain extremely dangerous with life-threatening surf, debris, and strong rip currents,” they add.