PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Nicole was downgraded to a tropical storm after making landfall early Thursday morning just south of Vero Beach as a Category 1 hurricane.
The center of Nicole is now near the west coast of the northern Florida peninsula, and strong winds, dangerous storm surge and waves and heavy rains are continuing over a large area, the National Hurricane Center confirmed.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that two people were killed Thursday morning as the storm swept through the area.
According to deputies, they responded to the intersection of Bayfront Parkway and Pershing Avenue around 9:30 a.m. in reference to a “man down call.”
Deputies said they found an unresponsive man who made contact with a downed live power line after he got out of his vehicle. Authorities said a woman traveling with him was also electrocuted.
She was transported to a hospital, where she died.
No other details were immediately released.
All watches and warnings have been canceled for Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
Still, Broward public schools will be closed Thursday. Miami-Dade County Public Schools confirmed classes will resume Thursday but all public schools in South Florida will be closed Friday in observance of Veterans Day.
The Archdiocese of Miami confirmed that only its Catholic schools in Broward County would be closed Thursday.
According to the National Hurricane Center’s latest advisory, Nicole was about 45 miles north of Tampa, and it was moving northwest at 15 mph with 45 mph sustained winds.
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“A turn toward the north-northwest is expected later this afternoon, followed by a turn toward the north tonight,” the NHC reported. “Nicole is expected to accelerate north-northeastward on Friday. On the forecast track, the center of Nicole will move over the far northeastern Gulf of Mexico in the next several hours and then move inland over the eastern Florida Panhandle tonight. Nicole should move northward into Georgia later tonight, and then move through the southeastern United States on Friday.”
Tropical Storm Warning:
* Sebastian Inlet, Florida, to South Santee River, South Carolina
* The middle of Longboat Key to Indian Pass, Florida.
Storm Surge Warning:
* Sebastian Inlet, Florida, to Altamaha Sound, Georgia
* Mouth of the St. Johns River to Georgetown, Florida
* Anclote River, Florida, to Ochlockonee River, Florida.
Storm Surge Watch:
* Ochlockonee River to Indian Pass, Florida
* Altamaha Sound, Georgia, to South Santee River, South Carolina.
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