Hurricane Nicole had weakened to Tropical Storm status by the time it reached the Tampa Bay region, but not before it made history as the first hurricane to hit Florida in November in almost four decades.
Hurricane Nicole was a Category 1 storm when it slammed into Florida, about 3 a.m. on Nov. 10, near Vero Beach, according to national weather reports.
National news outlets showed footage of huge Atlantic Oceans swells, eroded beaches, splintered piers and houses toppling into the ocean in Nicole’s aftermath
Nicole made a rare November landfall, becoming just the third hurricane to make landfall in Florida since 1935. The last time it happened was in 1985, according to Scientific American.
While Tampa Bay escaped widespread damage, it did not avoid substantial disruptions.
The region experienced persistent rain, high winds and power outages.
Perhaps the biggest impacts locally came from schedules that were suddenly shifted to avoid Nicole’s potential threat.
Both Hillsborough and Pasco’s public-school districts closed on Nov. 10. School buses can’t operate in high winds, Superintendent Kurt Browning said, when he announced the Pasco district would be closed on Nov. 10.
It’s not a move the district wanted to make because officials recognize the difficulty of making up the time lost to closure.
Schedules also were disrupted at local colleges.
Pasco-Hernando State College closed on Nov. 10; Saint Leo University also closed its campus in St. Leo that day. Hillsborough Community College and the University of South Florida went remote on Nov. 10.
The City of Tampa, Pasco County and Hillsborough County closed government offices on Nov. 10. All Pasco County Parks, Recreation, and Natural Resources events and activities scheduled for Nov. 10 were canceled, as well.
Trash collection and recycling services were suspended in the City of Tampa, and Pasco County noted that possibility in the county on Nov. 10, too. Pasco residents were advised to put out their trash on their next regularly scheduled pickup up and to contact their trash hauler, if they had questions.
Hillsborough County also announced that its solid waste facilities would be closed on Nov. 10 and that there would be no residential pickup that day.
The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) suspended bus services on November 10, in Hillsborough County, as did GoPasco, in Pasco County.
The state Department of Health in Pasco County also closed on Nov. 10, so staff could work in special needs shelters.
Meanwhile, Veterans Day programs also were disrupted.
Hillsborough County’s Consumer & Veterans Services department and the Veterans Council of Hillsborough County cancelled the 58th annual Veterans Day Tribute, which had been scheduled for Nov. 11 at Veterans Museum, at 3602 N. U.S. 301, in Tampa. Organizers hope to schedule a tribute at a later date.
The Zephyrhills Battle for Veterans event, scheduled for Nov. 11 through Nov. 13, at 5200 Airport Road, was cancelled because of the weather, according to a news release distributed by the Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce.
Published November 16, 2022