Reporting Ted Scouten
FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – While the core of Tropical Storm Sandy will stay off our coast, we will definitely feel its presence.
Winds up to 50 miles per hour and waves of 10-15 feet are expected on Thursday and Friday, according to the National Weather Service. The high waves could lead to significant beach erosion and some coastal flooding.
Beachgoers have noticed the increase in waves and those who ventured into the water noticed something else.
“There’s a definite rip current,” said Manuela Ajuz who tried to go for a swim off Ft. Lauderdale. “It’s definitely pulling you all the way to the right and, you know, if you’re not a safe or good swimmer, don’t go in at all.”
While many people chose Wednesday to stay close to shore, the kitesurfers had a field day on the water. Lifeguard towers up and down the coast have red flags flying indicating dangerous surf conditions.
“It’s really whipped up,” said Breck Ballou with Ft. Lauderdale Ocean Rescue. “There’s a lot of energy out there. There is a sustained northeast wind that has been blowing for a day now. So it is going to get rougher and some point it is going to be as rough as it is going to get.”
Children at the beach have to pay special attention at the water line.
“They’re told not to past their knees, right Kiya,” said Renee Pakkala as she kept a watchful eye on her five year old daughter Kiya and her brother. “You don’t go past your knees in the water.”
Even are her young age Kiya understands that those waves can be dangerous.
“They’re like a hurricane because they go really wild,” said Kiya Pakkala.
Even though Hurricane Sandy will pass us by Friday, heavy winds and surf are expected to last a couple days which could cause further beach erosion.
The extent of erosion will depend on whether Sandy expands in size. If the storm does expand in size, coastal areas will be exposed to a longer duration of wind and high surf. The National Hurricane Center said the the strong winds could potentially batter the beaches for several hours.