Nicole Brings Flooding to Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale Beaches

Nicole is expected to make landfall on Florida's east coast

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The early impacts of what was Hurricane Nicole were on display in Broward County, particularly in Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood beaches Wednesday night.

King tide and several inches of rain brought flooding along Florida A1A in both cities.

“We were just at the restaurant and the water came up really fast, so we kind of finished our dinner really quick, and then we’ve come out and there’s water everywhere,” said Aimee, a tourist from Australia who was visiting Hollywood Beach.

Video shared with NBC 6 also showed water gushing over the Broadwalk as conditions intensified.

Police officers blocked off flooded areas along A1A and Hollywood Boulevard to vehicular traffic.

It wasn’t just motorists who felt the impacts, but local businesses as well.

NBC 6 spoke to management at restaurants along A1A, Taverna Opa’s Greek Restaurant and Billy’s Stone Crab, about the storm’s early impacts.

“I have a restaurant full of customers, that they cannot leave the restaurant right now," said Gabriela Cabrera, manager at Taverna Opa’s. "If you look behind you, the parking lot, it’s fully flooded, across the street it’s fully flooded, and like I said, this is an every year situation."

“We’re going to close down now a little early. We’re not going to seat anybody else because with this water look how high it is already, so we have to be able to get our employees home and safe to their families,” Billy’s Stone Crab manager, Michael Leffler.

Hours from Hurricane Nicole’s expected landfall, businesses say they’re doing what they can to prepare.

“The water’s rising, we’re sandbagging now just to make sure the water doesn’t get into the restaurant, and just hoping for the best,” Leffler said.

NBC 6's Xochitl Hernandez is in Hollywood Beach, one of the areas that dealt with flooding from the storm.

Heavy rain and winds from Hurricane Nicole also delivered a strong punch to Fort Lauderdale Beach. A1A and Sunrise Boulevard were underwater.

With cars unable to plow through flooded streets, business owner Nicky Lalwani said business has been slow.

"Because of the flooded water, there’s no business," said the owner of Sunwear. "The last three hours, four hours, no customers."

Businesses hoped it would be the worst of it but are bracing for worsening conditions.

Jolene Parker with Primanti Brothers Pizza Shop said although they don’t plan to close, they did bring most of their outdoor furniture inside.

"As long as we have power, we’ll stay open," she said.

They left the tables out and lined them up outside the front entrance as a makeshift barrier.

"We just put a temporary barricade out there so the water can’t get through," Parker said. "And if that doesn’t work -- If we absolutely have to, we’re going to seal the door so the water can’t come in."

The hurricane already had an impact at McSorley's Sports Bar and Grill. Two of its outdoor flat screens are now damaged.

Fort Lauderdale Police blocked off parts of the road as flooding got too deep for drivers.

Officials urged drivers to stay off the roads.

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