Two people have died after they were electrocuted by a power line which was downed by the 75mph winds of Hurricane Nicole as it swept through Florida – ahead of Tiffany Trump’s lavish weekend wedding.
A man and a woman made contact with a power line in Conway, Orlando, after getting out of a car and were rushed to hospital where they later died according to Orange County Sheriff’s office.
The two deaths are the first confirmed as a result of Nicole, which has been downgraded to a tropical storm.
The Category 1 hurricane made landfall on North Hutchinson Island around 140 miles north of Miami at around 3am, becoming the first to hit the US in November for 40 years.
More than 330,000 people woke up without power along Florida’s coastline, for the second time in three months, as the clean up mission has started.
At a press conference officials warned that waves could reach between eight and 16 feet along the east coast.
Gov. DeSantis has declared an emergency for at least 45 of the counties and will be adding more ‘out of an abundance of caution’.
He added that 61 school districts have been closed because of the storm, and 600 National Guard troops have been activated and seven urban search and rescue teams on standby.
Portions of A1A in Flagler Beach have been forced to close after parts of the road collapsed into the ocean because of the waves hitting the area.
At least 15 condominiums in Daytona Beach have been evacuated by police over erosion caused by the storm let them at high risk of collapse.
Staff were sent home according to Page Six , with Tiffany and her fiancé, billionaire heir Michael Boulous, remaining at the resort with her family
Soon after making landfall Nicole was downgraded into a Tropical Storm – hitting Florida with winds of up to 75mph and is now moving in the direction of Georgia and South Carolina.
Bride-to-be Tiffany Trump is said to be ‘flipping out’ as the hurricane heads towards post Palm Beach, with her father’s swanky Mar-A-Lago estate being evacuated until Friday evening.
Torrential rain is still expected to hit for her wedding on Saturday, but winds are expected to have calmed down before the big day.
Staff were sent home according to Page Six, with Tiffany and her fiancé, billionaire heir Michael Boulous, remaining at the resort with her family.
A source said: ‘They’ve sent staff home. Tiffany is still there. Some guests came in for the week, and they had all these things planned.
‘It was going to be a whole over-the-top thing. They had to cancel events today and canceled a golf outing for tomorrow. Everyone is stuck inside.
‘Friday is supposed to be a welcome dinner and they aren’t sure it’s going to happen … Tiffany is flipping out.’
Trump’s Florida home is within the National Hurricane Center’s forecast of uncertainty, with forecasters expecting some wind and rain from the storm to hit the location.
Tiffany, the daughter of former President Trump and his ex-wife Marla Maples, has reportedly invited at least 500 people for the wedding who are flying in from all over the globe.
Hollywood’s Broadwalk and Michigan Street next to Margaritaville were flooded with storm surge waters as Nicole made landfall at 3am
The hurricane, a rare occurrence this late in the year, comes just weeks after Florida was battered by deadly Cat 5 Hurricane Ian, one of the most powerful storms to hit the United States.
A hangover from the storm could see flash flooding and other freak weather in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York later in the week.
Officials in Volusia COunty are keeping an eye on 34 buildings they are concerned will collapse, with deputies going door-to-door to urge residents to leave the coastline.
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said: ‘Sadly, it’s not a matter of if something is going to collapse, it’s when. This is really bad, that’s why we had a curfew and a mandatory evacuation.’
A beach safety building collapsed at Daytona Beach early Wednesday afternoon as high tides contributed to the already eroded eastern coastline.
Before landfall, dramatic footage already showed waves crunching into piers across the eastern coast – sending wooden shards spiralling into the sea.
At least 11,000 Floridian homes and businesses were hit by blackouts just after 5am because of the storm, with 45 of the state’s 67 counties under a state of emergency and four under mandatory evacuation orders.
DeSantis said 16,000 people had been recruited to respond to power outages following the storm and 600 national guardsmen had been activated.
Nicole becomes the first hurricane to hit the US in November in nearly 40 years, and only the third in history to make landfall in Florida that month.
The last storms to hit the panhandle at this time of the year were Hurricane Kate in 1985, and Hurricane Eloise in 1975.
NASA launch could be delayed again by Hurricane Nicole
Nicole has raised concerns that a long-delayed NASA rocket launch could be disrupted again.
The storm is heading towards NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, located near Florida’s eastern city of Orlando, having already disrupted plans to launch the agency’s most powerful rocket next week.
The Artemis 1 mission had been due to launch on November 14, but NASA said on Tuesday it would be delayed to November 16.
A backup launch date has been set for November 19.
NASA said it would leave the giant 322-foot (98-meter) SLS rocket on the launch pad, where it had been placed several days before.
Some experts have voiced concern that the rocket, which is estimated to cost several billion dollars, could be damaged by debris from the hurricane if it remains exposed.
After two launch attempts were scrubbed this summer because of technical problems, the rocket had to be returned to the Vehicle Assembly Building to protect it from Hurricane Ian.
The uncrewed mission aims to bring the United States a step closer to returning astronauts to the Moon five decades after humans last walked on its surface.
Waters could surge up to four feet, with coastal towns at risk for wash-outs and severe flooding.
Up to six inches of rain are expected to fall as the storm moves across the state.
Water levels on Florida’s east coach are reaching their peak, more than five hours after Hurricane Nicole made landfall.
The storm surge has lessened to three feet but the rising tide levels are nearing four feet above the normal highest tide.
Authorities warned that Nicole’s storm surge could further erode many beaches hit by Hurricane Ian in September.
The sprawling storm is then forecast to head into Georgia and the Carolinas later Thursday and Friday, dumping heavy rain across the region.
Tropical storm force winds extended as far as 485 miles from the center in some directions.
Nicole’s center is expected to move across central and northern Florida into southern Georgia on Thursday and into the evening, and into the Carolinas on Friday.
A few tornadoes will be possible through early Thursday across east-central to northeast Florida, the weather service said.
Flash and urban flooding will be possible, along with renewed river rises on the St. Johns River, across the Florida Peninsula on Thursday.
Heavy rainfall from this system will spread northward across portions of the southeast, eastern Ohio Valley, Mid-Atlantic, and New England through Saturday.
Large swells generated by Nicole will affect the northwestern Bahamas, the east coast of Florida, and much of the southeastern United States coast over the next few days.
Nicole is expected to weaken while moving across Florida and the southeastern United States through Friday, and it is likely to become a post-tropical cyclone by Friday afternoon.
Donald Trump will stay in his beloved Mar-A-Lago mansion despite a mandatory evacuation order, with the main building sitting on a small rise that is about 15 feet above sea level and the property has survived numerous stronger hurricanes since it was built nearly a century ago.
There is no penalty for ignoring an evacuation order, but rescue crews will not respond if it puts their members at risk.
The announcement came just a day after Trump’s ‘red wave’ failed to dominate the Midterm Elections, as many of his nominations failed to pull out in the polls. However, Trump still considered the midterms to be a ‘very big victory.’
‘While in certain ways yesterday’s election was somewhat disappointing, from my personal standpoint it was a very big victory – 219 WINS and 16 Losses in the General – Who has ever done better than that?’ he said on his Truth Social platform.