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Lakeland area sees gusty winds, heavy downpours following Nicole

Several local businesses were closed, but the Forbes Produce market just off I-4 was still open.

LAKELAND, Fla. — Around Plant City and Lakeland, Nicole's winds caused some minimal damage and local flooding.

Not long after the sun came up you could actually see what was left of the center of circulation coming right over the area.

Fortunately, there were no reports of any major injuries or damage. Still, no shortage of wind and rain.

Nicole battered some familiar spots like the Strawberry Festival grounds leaving light damage, standing water and no shortage of debris.

Several local businesses were closed, but the Forbes Produce market just off I-4 was still open. Normally they would be packed on a Thursday. But only a handful of customers were willing to brave the elements.

“You know, because it’s raining, it doesn’t mean that life doesn’t go on. So, we were pretty happy that we could come out and get a few things,” Mark Allen, a customer, said.

“Ian was trees down everywhere, constantly rerouted, and this one’s a lot less,” Allen's wife, Jennifer, said.

Maria Mejia says the stand is open every day including holidays, so the storm wasn’t about to change that.

"Thursdays are really busy," he said looking at the rain come down. "Thursday, Friday, but we don’t have anybody right no."

In Lakeland Nicole’s winds were strong enough for several hours to create waves and white caps on a normally placid Lake Hollingsworth.

Local police diverted traffic around areas with construction issues.

There were also a handful of traffic accidents and was no shortage of debris and standing water.

But the biggest issue was power outages.

Some Lakeland Electric customers were in the dark for hours as line crews did their best to get the lights back on.

“Not as bad as Ian, but we’ve got quite a few outages,” Lineman, Mike Mincey, said. “They seem to be small and localized. And we’re getting them back on as fast as we can get to them.”

By late afternoon, clouds were clearing out, winds had died down, and there were even bursts of sunshine around popular spots like Lake Hollingsworth where people emerged from their day of storm hibernation.

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