Hurricane Nicole Providing a Devastating Lesson in Storm Surge

A weather radar image of then Tropical Storm Nicole over Florida at 6:30 am, November 10, 2022. Courtesy, Paul Dellegatto, WTVT-TV, Tampa

November 10, PM Update – We’ve seen the wind’s destruction in past Florida hurricanes.  Hurricane Nicole today provided a unique opportunity to see similar destruction from direct storm surge and the resulting erosion.  This double-whammy is reshaping the Volusia County coastline, with homes and parts of condominium buildings collapsing into the ocean from Daytona Beach south to Ponce Inlet – with a prediction of more to come.  To be sure, Nicole’s impacts were felt all along Florida’s east coast due to its storm surge – and all across Florida due to its 345-mile wind field of tropical-storm-force (39-73 mph) winds.  The weather radar graphic to the right, taken at about 6:30am today, three hours after landfall, tells the story of its broad impact to Floridians.  Rain amounts varied, up to 8 inches in some areas.  But later tonight, as it leaves North Florida to head into Georgia and then the Carolinas, Nicole is leaving behind coastal and inland flooding and a much different set of challenges than have past storms.

The partial deck collapse of Pirates Cove Condominium in Daytona Shores, November 10, 2022

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood today described Nicole’s aftermath “like a bomb has gone off on the coast,” to Orlando’s WKMG-TV as parts of at least a dozen high-rise condos and homes collapsed into the ocean in the town of Daytona Beach Shores, including the front of the Pirates Cove Condominiums.  The surging ocean water threatened the foundations, prompting emergency evacuations.  “This isn’t a one-day event.  This is going to go on for days and days and days where buildings are going to become compromised and big parts of them are going to fall into the ocean,” Chitwood said.  An overnight curfew is in effect there.  Police went door-to-door starting yesterday as the ocean swells grew, telling people to pack up and leave.  Several structures have been declared structurally unsound.

Farther south on the barrier beach in Wilbur-by-the-Sea, seven oceanfront homes are essentially no longer, slowly collapsing into the ocean over the past two days.  Drone video from Bridgepoint Global, consultants in risk mitigation, building science and claims management, shows dramatic footage that rivals the worst of any wind damage we usually see from hurricanes.  Nicole’s storm surge and the beach erosion it created, first started by September’s Hurricane Ian, overran the homes, as sand castles in the rising tide. 

A still image from drone video shows one of seven oceanfront homes in Wilbur-by-the-Sea collapsing into the Atlantic Ocean. Courtesy Bridgepoint Global

Sheriff Chitwood said Volusia County has formed a strike force with various municipal engineers and building inspectors to visit every oceanfront condominium building and other large structures along the barrier beach to affirm their structural integrity.  Besides the seven homes in Wilbur-by-the-Sea, he said there are 22 other structures that are questionable.  The water combined with wind to create flooding in downtown Daytona Beach as well, with water mid-way up the hubcaps of pickup trucks.  Further inland, along the St. Johns River, communities will be facing rising waters that in some cases, such as the town of Astor, are in major flood stage.  It was just last week that the last of Hurricane Ian’s flood waters had receded in inland Volusia County along Lake Monroe and the St. Johns River.  Some rivers in the Tampa Bay area were also nearing flood levels, according to the National Weather Service.

Flooding in downtown Daytona Beach from Hurricane Nicole, November 10, 2022

Hurricane Nicole made landfall in Indian River County near Vero Beach around 3am today as a minimal Category 1 hurricane with winds of 75 mph.  There were no reports of significant damage there.  It was quickly downgraded to a tropical storm after landfall, and by early afternoon, winds were about 45 mph as it moved north.  More than 50 counties were under a tropical storm warning at one point this morning.  Nicole’s winds knocked out power to about 330,000 electricity customers in the Central Florida counties on or near the coast.  A man and a woman were killed by electrocution when they touched downed power lines in the Orlando area.  Tonight as of 7:15pm, 145,000 customers were still without power.  Those under mandatory evacuation last night along Central Florida’s barrier beaches are back at home tonight as shelter operations wind down.

At its 7pm update tonight, the National Hurricane Center showed Tropical Storm Nicole straddling the Northwest corner of the Florida peninsula, about 40 miles southeast of Tallahassee, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.  The storm is moving northwest at 15 mph and should cross into Georgia sometime later tonight.  A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from the Flagler/Volusia County line to the Altamaha Sound in Georgia, and on Florida’s Gulf Coast from Aripeka to Indian River Pass. 

Ongoing storm surge and flooding remain a real threat from Nicole, with rising stream and river levels expected for the next several days.  A Storm Surge Warning is in effect from the Flagler/Volusia County line to the Altamaha Sound in Georgia, from the Mouth of the St. Johns River to Georgetown in Putnam County, and on the Gulf Coast from Anclote River to the Ochlockonee River.

Insurance Impacts

Preparedness: Governor DeSantis today amended his previous Executive Order expanding the state of emergency to all 67 Florida counties, from the previous 45-county order.   Around 600 National Guard personnel remain on activation along with 7 Urban Search and Rescue teams should they be needed.  The State Division of Emergency Management has sent personnel to Brevard, Lake, Martin, Orange, Seminole, St. Lucie and Volusia counties at their request to provide on-site response assistance and to conduct damage assessments after the storm.

Disaster Costs: President Biden yesterday approved an emergency declaration today providing federal assistance to state and local response efforts for 40 counties.  Nicole is now impacting Hurricane Ian recovery efforts, as FEMA announced that all 26 Disaster Recovery Centers in Florida will close temporarily this week as a precaution for the predicted severe weather from Nicole.

Regulation: The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) today issued an Emergency Order in response to Hurricane Nicole.  It amends and supersedes Emergency Order 300997-22 OIR issued during Ian.  The amended order temporarily suspends for 90 days after repair, any planned policy cancellations or non-renewals by insurance companies on properties damaged by Nicole and/or IanThe order now applies to Surplus Lines carriers as well. 

OIR also sent an industry notice requiring insurance companies report Nicole catastrophic claims data weekly using the Simplified 2022 Catastrophe Reporting Form (CRF) submitted through the Insurance Regulation Filing System (IRFS) beginning Monday, November 14 through November 28 at this point.  The CRF provides valuable information to OIR and the state of Florida regarding the impact of a hurricane or other event.  The information culled will eventually be posted on OIR’s Catastrophe Claims Data and Reporting webpage.

As a reminder to property owners who suffered flood damage from Nicole (which is not covered under homeowners insurance policies), the Department of Financial Services issued this release with handy National Flood Insurance Program resources for filing flood claims.

Business and Industry Concerns: Secretary Dane Eagle of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, largely responsible for business recovery from the storm, is reminding businesses to self-report their Nicole preliminary losses by completing the Florida Business Damage Assessment Survey, also accessible through  Survey responses allow the state to expedite hurricane and recovery efforts.

Click here for the full National Hurricane Center briefing with maps.   You can also review our past Hurricane Updates

This is our 3rd and final Hurricane Update on Nicole.  We produce these updates as a service to catastrophe professionals.  We thank you for your input and positive feedback over the past few days, relying on our “boots on the ground” updates spanning the emergency management response, critical insurance claims information, and multi-county disaster recovery progress.  It has been a privilege to connect with our followers and supporters.  We’ll continue reporting on the disaster recovery effort in our bi-monthly LMA Newsletter resuming November 21, and hope you’ll subscribe if you haven’t already.  In the meantime, we are a phone call or an email away…always!  Please stay safe in the field!

Lisa & the LMA team

Hurricane Nicole Update of November 10, 2022, PM Update

(Here’s the latest News as of 1pm today from the Governor’s Office of specific state response & recovery actions:)

Search and Rescue

  • There are nearly 600 National Guardsmen activated on standby to perform search and rescue once weather clears.
  • Seven of Florida’s Urban Search and Rescue teams are on standby and ready to respond to Tropical Storm Nicole, one team remains in Lee County in response to Hurricane Ian.


  • As of 12:00 PM, there are currently nearly 355,000 accounts without power.
  • For a full report on current outages, click here.
  • More than 17,000 linemen from utilities across the state are staged to immediately begin power restoration efforts as soon as it is safe to do so.

Florida Division of Emergency Management

  • At Governor DeSantis’ request, FEMA has approved an Emergency Declaration for Tropical Storm Nicole. FEMA Public Assistance Category B (emergency protective measures) has been approved for Alachua, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, DeSoto, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Jefferson, Lake, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sumter, Taylor, Volusia and Wakulla counties, as well as the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
  • FDEM is leading the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) for the Tropical Storm Nicole response.
  • FDEM has activated the State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) to provide an additional resource for Floridians to receive up-to-date information regarding Tropical Storm Nicole, as well as Hurricane Ian recovery resources. Residents and visitors can call this toll-free hotline at 1-800-342-3557.
  • FDEM Liaisons are being deployed to Brevard, Indian River, Lake, Martin, Orange, Seminole, St. Lucie and Volusia counties at their request to provide on-site response assistance and to conduct damage assessments after the storm.
  • FDEM is deploying shelter support staff to address staffing needs in counties that have opened their public hurricane shelters.
  • FDEM has deployed 18 pallets of water to Orange County and is staging additional commodities to ensure food and water are readily available if counties request it.
  • Seven Urban Search and Rescue teams are prepared to deploy to impacted areas, with one USAR team assisting Southwest Florida with Hurricane Ian recovery efforts.


  • The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) issued a memorandum for emergency response vehicles to bypass weigh stations in response to Tropical Storm Nicole and coordinated with Georgia and Tennessee to allow Florida-bound utility convoys to bypass their state’s weigh stations.

Roadways and Bridges

  • 258 crews are staged and ready to deploy in areas once the winds have lessened to allow safe operations to assess damage, flooding, and power outages at traffic signals as well as perform bridge inspections and cut and toss operations to clear roadways. 
  • State Drawbridges in Brevard, Broward, Martin, Palm Beach, St. Lucie, and Volusia Counties are locked down for marine traffic. Bridges will remain open to vehicular traffic as long as weather safely permits.
  • All active construction sites within the projected impact areas have been secured and prepared for severe weather conditions.
  • Drainage structures within the projected impact areas have been cleaned and cleared of debris in preparation for the storm.

Roadway and Bridge Closures

    • N. Ocean Dr. closed in both directions at Sheridan St.
    • N. Ocean Dr. closed in both directions at Michigan St.
    • SR-A1A Southbound from Viramar St. to Auramar St. All lanes closed.
    • E Oakland Park Blvd. Westbound at Intracoastal Waterway. All lanes closed.
    • S. Oceanshore Blvd./ S.R. A1A closed in both directions from S. 7th St. to S. 16th St.
    • Sunshine Skyway Bridge
    • I-4 East, ramp to MM 71 (Central Florida Pkwy)
    • Florida’s Turnpike North ramp to Exit 272 (SR-50)
    • Florida’s Turnpike North ramp from Exit 267B (SR-50)
    • Florida’s Turnpike North ramp from Exit 267A (SR-429)
    • SR-429 North ramp from Exit 24 (SR-438/Plant St.)
    • E Ocean Ave Both Directions at Intracoastal Waterway
    • S Ocean Blvd Northbound at Ibis Way
    • Bridge on I-275 South, before MM 13. All lanes closed
    • Sunshine Skyway Bridge
    • Bridge of Lions
    • Coastal Hwy both Directions at Carcaba Rd.
    • Coastal Hwy Both Directions from Poplar Ave. to Surfside Ave.
    • W King St. both Directions from S Ponce de Leon Blvd to Sebastian Harbor Dr.
    • May St. at Douglas Ave
    • Vilano Beach Bridge Both Directions at Magnolia Ave.
    • SR-A1A Southbound at Barrataria Dr.
    • Old A1A Northbound at Ocean Shore Blvd.
    • North Causeway Bridge
    • South Causeway Bridge
    • Veterans Memorial Bridge
    • Dunlawton Bridge
    • Seabreeze Bridge
    • S Oceanshore Blvd Both Directions at Clubhouse Dr.


  • All ports currently have adequate fuel supplies and are staging appropriate measures to be well-positioned after the storm to quickly reinstate operations and keep fuel supplies moving.  
  • The following seaports are CLOSED
    • Port Canaveral
    • Port Fernandina
    • Port of Fort Pierce
    • Port Miami
    • Port St. Pete


  • The following airports are CLOSED:
    • Daytona Beach International
    • Orlando International
    • Orlando Sanford International
    • Melbourne Orlando International
    • Northeast Florida Regional
    • Vero Beach Municipal


  • Passenger Rail:
    • Amtrak- 
      • Silver Star #91 & 92 cancelled from Jacksonville to Miami
      • Auto Train #52 & 53 cancelled
      • Silver Meteor #97 cancelled
      • Silver Meteor #98 cancelled from Miami to Jacksonville
    • TriRail- Service suspended
    • SunRail- Service suspended
    • Brightline- Service suspended
  • Freight Rail:
  • SCFE- monitoring storm and performing routine storm prep. Daily train from Clewiston to Ft. Pierce suspended for 11/10.
  • First Coast Railroad- Service suspended
  • Regional Rail- 
    • Port Manatee railroad, Florida Central Railroad, Florida Midland Railroad & Florida Northern Railroad closed


  • The following agencies are CLOSED:
    • St. Johns County/Sunshine Bus
    • Votran
    • Space Coast Area Transit
    • CitrusConnection/Polk County
    • Pasco County
    • LakeXpress
    • Gainesville RTS
    • Indian River
    • St. Lucie
    • Martin County
    • Palm Tran


  • Space Florida, partner facilities, Kennedy Space Center, and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station are closed

Health and Human Services

  • The State Surgeon General signed Emergency Order 22-253 which allows pharmacists to dispense up to a 30-day emergency prescription refill of maintenance medication to persons who reside in an area or county covered under this Executive Order and to emergency personnel who have been activated by their state or local agency but who do not reside in an area or county covered by this Executive Order.
  • DOH has coordinated with the Office of Insurance Regulation to distribute an alert regarding permitted early prescription refills during a State of Emergency. This alert was sent to health insurers, managed care organizations, health entities, and licensed health care providers. The alert can be found here.
  • DOH is supporting 25 Special Needs Shelter operations, sheltering more than 860 individuals, in areas impacted by Hurricane Nicole.
  • In Volusia County, DOH has 25 ambulances and 10 paratransit busses staged to respond to needs in areas impacted by Tropical Storm Nicole. 
  • As of Thursday morning, 11 health care facilities have evacuated through Osceola, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, and Volusia counties.
  • The State Surgeon General has signed a letter to allow staff of the Department and Agency for Health Care Administration to travel past curfews across state lines to conduct any necessary health and safety actions, this can be found here
  • AHCA has activated reporting in the Health Facility Reporting System (HFRS) and is requesting all health care providers report their census, available beds, evacuation status and generator status information. This information allows AHCA to assist health care providers in transferring patients if needed and ensure health care providers in impacted areas have the necessary resources and adequate power.
  • The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) contacted its APD-licensed group homes around the state to ensure they were prepared for Tropical Storm Nicole and to find out if any homes were evacuating.  8 group homes have temporarily relocated inland due to Tropical Storm Nicole.


  • The Florida Department of Education is consistently updating their website with school district closures, as well as State University System and Florida College System Closures.

Law Enforcement

  • FDLE is conducting planning calls with all law enforcement partners to assess needs.
  • FDLE has established teams ready to deploy following the storm.
  • FWC officers in all 67 Florida counties have been placed on heightened alert status, in anticipation of wind damage, beach erosion, heavy rains and flooding because of Tropical Storm Nicole.
  • FWC officers from outside the projected path are on standby and ready to deploy when needed. They will respond with a variety of specialized equipment, including shallow draft boats, ATVs, airboats and four-wheel drive vehicles. These assets do not include local FWC officers in potentially affected areas, who will be immediately available to respond after the storm passes.
  • FHP continues to monitor roadways and bridges and is in communication with law enforcement, transportation, and emergency management partners to identify and assist with any response efforts.
  • More than 1,700 sworn FHP members are ready to assist with enhanced response efforts.
  • FHP’s unmanned aerial vehicle teams are prepared to assist in search and rescue and damage assessment efforts.
  • FWC is directing the public to for information about wildlife management areas, fish management areas, shooting ranges and FWC office closures due to the forecasted effects of Tropical Storm Nicole.
  • FHP is maintaining high visibility on interstate systems, bridges, and rest areas. Motorists can report disabled vehicles or dangerous driving conditions to *FHP (*347).
  • FLHSMV has issued Emergency Order 110722, which:
    • Waives specific requirements for commercial motor vehicles providing emergency relief; and
    • Waives the replacement fees for driver’s license and identification credentials, vehicle registrations and titles, vessel registrations and titles and temporary parking permits for impacted individuals.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection

  • Following the issuance of the Governor’s Executive Order, DEP has issued an Emergency Final Order to expedite necessary repair, replacement and restoration of structures, equipment, surface water management systems, works and other systems made necessary by Subtropical Storm Nicole, as well as setting forth streamlined requirements for the management of storm debris.
  • DEP issued an Amended Emergency Final Order to incorporated additional counties included in the Governor’s Amended Executive Order.
  • All significant Hazardous Waste facilities within the affected counties have been contacted to ensure all pre-storm landfall preparations are being made.
  • Beach assessment teams are prepared to quickly deploy to evaluate storm impacts as soon as conditions allow.
  • Nine disaster debris management sites (DDMSs) have been authorized for Hurricane Nicole. DDMSs are a critical component of expediting clean-up, reducing environmental and public health impacts, and meeting federal reimbursement requirements.
  • Florida state park closures can be found here.
  • Visitors with existing camping and cabin reservations at impacted parks will be notified of their reservation status.
  • National Estuarine Research Reserve and Aquatic Preserve closures can be found at

Business Support

  • The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has activated the private sector hotline at 850-815-4925 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Eastern Time. Inquiries may also be emailed to [email protected].
  • DEO has activated the Business Damage Assessment Survey to gauge the impact of Hurricane Nicole on Florida businesses. To , visit FloridaDisaster.Biz
  • DEO is updating with real-time information for business owners to prepare their businesses, families and employees for Tropical Storm Nicole.


  • Secretary of State Cord Byrd issued an emergency order suspending important deadlines for those in affected counties to ensure all votes are counted accurately while the state responds to Tropical Storm Nicole. Find more information on this order here.


  • For the latest updates on closures of state facilities, visit Florida Department of Management Services/Building Closures or call the Florida DMS Emergency Information Hotline: 888-FDMS-EIL (888-336-7345).
  • 20 mobile Starlink hotspot locations in areas impacted by Hurricane Ian will remain closed Thursday, November 10 and will re-open at 8:00am on Friday, November 11.
  • The Florida Commission on Offender Review field offices in Bradford, Brevard, DeSoto, Duval, Hillsborough, and Martin counties are closed.
  • VA Outpatient Clinics in the storm’s path are closed today. Appointments are being rescheduled. Clinics are closed Friday for Veterans Day and will reopen Monday. 
  • CareerSource Florida Network centers across the state are experiencing changes to their operations as a result of Tropical Storm Nicole. To find out if the CareerSource center nearest you is experiencing a change in operations or a temporary closure, please visit
  • Due to Tropical Storm Nicole, the Lottery’s West Palm Beach, Orlando, Tampa, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, and Headquarters Offices will be closed to employees and the public on Thursday, November 10.
  • FLHSMV driver license and motor vehicle service center closures can be found here.