Update (3 p.m.): With Tropical Storm Nicole increasing in size, Alachua County is expected to experience tropical storm force winds starting late Wednesday afternoon through Thursday, according to an Alachua County release sent on Tuesday afternoon.
Residents are urged to secure loose items in their yard and tend to tree branches that could be a problem in high winds. Alachua County could potentially have power outages and downed trees. Residents are also encouraged to check on neighbors or other individuals who may need assistance preparing for a storm.
For Alachua County incident updates, text ALACHUA to 888-777.
Our original story:
Subtropical Storm Nicole is strengthening in speed and is expected to hit North Central Florida by Thursday.
According to a National Hurricane Center (NHC) released on Tuesday morning, Nicole will make the transition to a tropical storm later today with maximum sustained winds near 50 miles per hour. It will be near or at hurricane strength by Wednesday while moving near the northwestern Bahamas and will make landfall with the southeast coast of Florida Wednesday night.
NHC reported the storm’s center is expected to move across central and northern Florida and into southern Georgia on Thursday and Thursday night. The peak wind forecast is projected between 45-55 mph with guests to 70 mph and rainfall between 2 to 4 inches.
Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for 34 Florida counties that include:
- Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, DeSoto, Duval, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sumter, and Volusia.
Nicole comes six weeks after Hurricane Ian devastated the southwest coast of Florida and cut through the central part of the state but had minimal impact in the north central region.