Editor’s note: This story was updated on Nov. 11 at 3:00 p.m.
Six weeks after Central Florida endured record rainfall from Hurricane Ian, residents are cleaning up the remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole.
The storm system made landfall just south of Vero Beach as a Category 1 hurricane in the early hours of Thursday, Nov. 10. It later weakened to a tropical storm with winds of up to 50 mph and rainfall between 4-8 inches in the Orlando area.
While Nicole did not cause the historic flooding of Hurricane Ian, any additional rain will stress the already over-saturated ground and water systems. Lake levels in flood-prone areas were lowered as much as possible to increase capacity.
During an abbreviated Nov. 9 City Commission meeting, Winter Park Mayor Phil Anderson gave an update on preventative measures taken to deal with the possible effects of the storm.
“We’ve drained the ponds, we’ve lowered levels on Lake Killarney and those areas where we have control,” he said. “And we’re monitoring the Chain of Lakes where we really don’t have control.”
The city announced that all administrative offices that closed for the storm will re-open Friday, Nov. 11, as will all indoor recreational facilities. The public meeting on proposed plans for the former library building that was scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 10, will be held at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17.
Outdoor Recreational Facilities
Approximately 10 trees were reported damaged or down during the storm. Debris is being cleared from the athletic fields at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, Ward Park, and Cady Way Park. Residents will be advised when those facilities reopen.
Cady Way Park tennis and pickleball courts are open, but lights for evening play are not operational. Courts will close at 5 p.m. until the lights are fixed.
Dinky Dock and Lake Baldwin parks are expected to resume normal operating hours Monday, Nov. 14. The Winter Park 9 and Winter Park Pines golf courses have resumed normal operating hours, but golf cart use is subject to the condition of the course.
As of 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, electric utilities were restored to nearly all Winter Park residents who were without power. Approximately 300 outages occurred at the height of the storm. According to a post on the City of Winter Park’s emergency info Facebook page, the online power outage map will not be available for this storm due to upgrades that are still in progress. Outages should be reported to 1-877-811-8700.
Due to elevated lake levels, all Winter Park lakes are closed until further notice.
To reduce stress on lift stations and water utilities, the city is encouraging residents to limit water usage. Suggested management includes limiting toilet flushing, the length of showers, and the amount of water used in bathtubs. Limiting the use of dishwashers and clothes washers is also suggested. And residents should refrain from car washing, pressure washing, and irrigation.
The Fall Cleanup, scheduled for Nov. 10 and 11 for households south of Fairbanks/Aloma avenues has been postponed. New dates will be announced. Garbage and recycling pickups scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 10., have been rescheduled for Saturday, Nov. 12.
The city encourages residents to bag and containerize tree debris when possible. Waste Pro debris pickups will occur during regular yard waste pick-up days beginning Wednesday, Nov. 16. City crews will pick up bagged debris between Saturday, Nov. 19 and Sunday, Nov. 20. Dates for the pick up of loose tree debris will be announced.
Residents should not place tree debris near or on trees, poles, hydrants, meters or other structures. Do not place debris in the street or block storm drains, manhole covers or gutters.
The Florida Department of Transportation had suspended SunRail service due to the storm. Service will resume after a complete inspection of the entire rail corridor. Updates will be posted on the SunRail website.
Additional information is available on the City of Winter Park website.