Hurricane Nicole Causes Four Deaths, Forces Evacuation of Unsteady Buildings

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The big, messy system left damage in many parts of the state. More than 500 homes in Port Orange, south of Daytona Beach, were at risk of flooding after a critical dam was swept away in the storm, said Mayor Donald O. Burnette of Port Orange, adding that the city was still recovering from flood damage from Ian.

In Vilano Beach, on a barrier island north of St. Augustine, State Road A1A, a major north-south coastal road, collapsed or flooded, stranding residents. Mark Fetz, 43, a resident since 2007, said Ian had compromised many of the dunes that protected A1A, the only way in and out of town.

“All the dunes — all the shore — that was protecting that highway is gone and the ocean is basically lapping up against the highway,” he said, adding that he was concerned about his older neighbors who were unable to leave their homes and had no electricity.

As far south as Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, in Broward County, Hurricane Nicole washed away a large chunk of a well-known pier. As far north as Jacksonville, the St. Johns River caused some flooding. There were downed tree limbs, debris and rivulets of water in the streets of Orlando, which experienced significant flooding six weeks ago from Hurricane Ian. But Nicole moved at a brisker pace, lessening the amount of rainfall over the region.

Nicole first made landfall on Wednesday in the Bahamas. Abaco Island suffered extensive flooding but minimal damage, officials said. The storm is forecast to bring heavy rain from the Carolinas to New England through the weekend.

The uneven storm season, with a quiet July and August, busy September and now a storm making landfall in November, struck Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami, as odd.

“We had more storms form in November than we did in August,” he said. “That seems very crazy to me.”

Eric Adelson reported from Wilbur-by-the-Sea, Fla., and Orlando, Fla.; Abigail Geiger reported from Vero Beach, Fla., and Melbourne, Fla.; Remy Tumin reported from New York and Patricia Mazzei from Miami. Reporting was also contributed by Joe Capozzi, Johnny Diaz, Isabella Grullón Paz, Mike Ives, Judson Jones, McKenna Oxenden, Derrick Bryson Taylor, Daniel Victor and Jasper Williams-Ward.

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