Florida flights cancelled and theme parks shut ahead of Hurricane Nicole

Thousands of flights have been cancelled and theme parks shut as Florida braces itself for the arrival of Hurricane Nicole.

The severe weather system was projected to approach the east coast of the state and make landfall overnight causing the cancellation more than 900 flights on Wednesday and 1,000 today. 

The US National Hurricane Centre said Nicole was “bringing strong winds, a dangerous storm surge and heavy rains as it approaches the east coast of Florida”. 

Orlando international airport ceased commercial operations at 4pm local time on Wednesday. 

Miami International airport said it remained open but cautioned: “We may experience cancellations and delays as a result of Nicole.”

Walt Disney World in Orlando closed early yesterday (Wednesday) with night-time events cancelled and was not expected to reopen until noon local time today “as we continue to prioritise the safety of our cast members and guests during the storm”.

Universal Resort Orlando also shut at 5pm local time and expected a “phased and delayed” reopening today although hotels on the site remained open.  

The US National Weather Service for Miami warned that coastal flooding, heavy rainfall and strong winds are the main hazards for south Florida.

Hurricane warnings were also in place on Atlantic coastal regions further north and tropical storm alerts across much of mainland Florida.

A state of emergency was declared across dozens of counties. 

The weather service warned: “Large breaking/life threatening waves are expected along the east coast with the worst conditions expected along Palm Beach.

“The greatest risk for flash flooding will be near the coast over the next few hours when tides remain elevated.”

It highlighted a “low-end threat” of tornados along the east coast of Florida together with tropical storm force winds.

“The majority of the rainfall associated with the system is forecast to fall through Thursday morning,” the latest advisory said.

Hurricane-force winds of up to 75mph have already hit Grand Bahama Island  as Nicole tracked towards Florida.

Share article

View Comments

Jacobs Media is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.