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Tropical Storm watch for Nicole

A subtropical storm 500 miles wide will bring rain and stiff winds to Key Biscayne starting Wednesday, but officials are not expecting it to have much of an impact on Election Day activities. 

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Forecasters posted a tropical storm watch for Nicole, but the stronger parts of the system are expected to hit further north.

“We’re on the clean side of the storm,” said Key Biscayne Fire Chief Eric Lang, but he said with a full moon and rainfall of 1-2 inches, he expects some street flooding. High tides are forecast 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Tuesday, and an hour later on Wednesday. Village officials were still assessing threats and had not yet detailed any precautionary measures.

A top safety concern was keeping people out of dangerous surf, Lang said. 

Winds could gust as high as 50 mph on the island, raising the chance of scattered power outages. At 4 p.m, the storm’s center was 435 miles east-northeast of the northwestern Bahamas, moving northwest at 9 mph. 

“The thing that stands out, as it approaches the coast, is that the wind field is going to be really huge,” said Brian McNoldy, a meteorologist at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School on Virginia Key. “From the storm center it will extend 500 miles for possible tropical storm force winds.” 

If Nicole makes hurricane status, it would only be the second November hurricane in Florida history, with the last one taking place in 1935. 

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Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.

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