TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Officials in Volusia County were the first to issue a mandatory evacuation order for its residents living in select locations expected to be hardest hit by Tropical Storm Nicole’s landfall later in the week.

According to an announcement from the county, the tropical storm is expected to bring strong tropical-force winds and the potential for hurricane-force gusts to Volusia County beginning Wednesday afternoon.

Stormy conditions are expected to last through 8 p.m. Thursday.

“This massive storm poses a significant threat for dangerous storm surge, heavy rainfall, and damaging winds and gusts,” county officials said in the announcement. “Water levels could rise by 3 to 5 feet above normal tide levels, and the area could receive 4 to 6 inches of rain with up to 8 inches in some areas, especially along the coast.”

All parts of the county are expected to receive 45-60 mph sustained winds along with hurricane-strength gusts.

Volusia County issued the mandatory evacuation order beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday for all residences and businesses:

  • East of the Intracoastal Waterway
  • All manufactured and mobile home dwellers east of Interstate 95
  • All low-lying areas and other areas prone to flooding
  • All campsites and RV recreational parks

Residents should make their final preparations tonight. Evacuees are encouraged to stay with family, friends, or an inland hotel and must complete their evacuation by 4 p.m. Wednesday before conditions “deteriorate significantly.”

Coastal Volusia County is under a hurricane warning, while inland portions of the county are under a tropical storm warning. A river flood warning is in effect for the St. Johns River from Geneva to Astor.

“Tropical Storm Nicole poses a direct threat to property and life,” said County Manager George Recktenwald. “Our infrastructure, especially along the coastline, is extremely vulnerable because of Hurricane Ian’s impacts. We expect further erosion along the beach, along with flooding in areas that were previously flooded by Ian. Residents need to take this storm seriously.”