Hurricane Nicole made landfall in the US State of Florida, killing at least three people on Thursday, as the tropical storm evolved into something deadlier, it was reported.
A 68-year-old man died Thursday of cardiac arrest in his yacht off the town of Cocoa, where the category 1 hurricane caused strong sea blows, while flooding and damage to structures resulted in two other casualties due to electrocution through a downed wire in Orange County.
First responders arrived around 9.30 am at the intersection of Bayview Parkway and Pershing Avenue, where a man was found dead after making contact with the power line after he got out of his car, a spokesperson for the Orange County Sheriff's Office (OCSO) told reporters. A woman traveling with that person was also hit and died later at a hospital.
“We are urging all of our residents and visitors to use extreme caution if they are outside in the wake of the storm today,” read an OCSO statement. “Never touch a downed power line. If you are driving and see a downed power line, change directions immediately,” it went on.
In the other case, Cocoa Police Department Spokeswoman Yvonne Martinez in Brevard County said a 911 distress call was received from a woman who reported her husband's situation. The couple was on their yacht docked in the Lee Wenner Park area, said Martinez, who explained that when help arrived they found the couple inside the boat.
Firefighters were able to board the yacht and began CPR on the man, who was then ferried to a medical center where he was confirmed dead.
The areas of Florida most affected Thursday by Nicole were slowly recovering as the tropical system continues its march northward.
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood reported on social media that in the Daytona Beach area bridges to the beach were closed. He further reported that homes in the coastal area of Wilbur-by-the-Sea collapsed and other properties were at risk.
On the coast facing the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa's International Airport remained open and operational, but weather conditions caused 18% of flights to be canceled and 30% delayed so far.
According to Poweroutage.us, over 135,000 households were left without electricity statewide.
By 7 pm local time (00.00 GMT) Nicole was located 40 miles from Tallahassee, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported.