As Florida voters head to the polls on Tuesday, officials warned about incoming Tropical Storm Nicole.
Nicole is expected to become a hurricane over the Bahamas before impacting the Sunshine State’s east coast on Wednesday.
The National Hurricane Center said the storm was beginning to strengthen before turning westward or west-southwestward on Tuesday.
Forecasters said there won’t be significant impacts in Florida until the evening and through Wednesday.
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However, a hurricane warning is in effect for the northwestern Bahamas and a hurricane watch is in effect for the Atlantic coast of Florida from Brevard County to Broward County, as well as the Lake Okeechobee area.
A storm surge watch has been issued from Broward County to halfway up Georgia’s coast.
An advisory from the hurricane center warned residents not to focus on the exact track of Nicole, because it is expected to be a large storm with hazards extending far to the north of the center and outside the cone.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for 34 counties.
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“While this storm does not, at this time, appear that it will become much stronger, I urge all Floridians to be prepared and to listen to announcements from local emergency management officials,” DeSantis said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor the trajectory and strength of this storm as it moves towards Florida.”
The state is still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Ian, which tore through Florida and the Carolinas in September.
County officials warned Nicole could bring more flooding and beach erosion, with Volusia County advising coastal residents to consider moving to a safer location.
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The Atlantic hurricane season runs through the end of the month.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.