MIAMI (CBSMiami) – On Monday afternoon as the first bands from Hurricane Dorian came ashore in Palm Beach County people in Boynton Beach were talking about the water.
But not from the hurricane.
They were watching and taking pictures of water from the periodic, natural King Tides that pushed water into the parking lot near the well-known Two Georges restaurant along the Intracoastal.
“That doesn’t look good over there,” said resident Luke Nill. “This is usually 4 feet lower at least. That’s never underwater there.”
The concern was that King Tides paired with a storm surge from Dorian could cause major problems for South Florida. However, as Dorian turns north, tt looks that won’t be nearly as bad as it could have been.
Hurricane Dorian kicked up waves, enticing surfers and it seemed like the overall threat was diminishing for this area. Residents believed they could start to relax.
“I think we’re really blessed and fortunate at this point,” said resident Jeff Smith. “I feel really bad for the residents of the Bahamas. Keeping them in my prayers.”
The outer bands of Dorian kicked up some big waves — bigger than usual on the South Florida coast. A handful of surfers couldn’t resist, despite warnings from first responders about the dangers of surfing during the storm. Surfer Bobby Gardler was in them water and he spoke about his experience helping to repair the Florida Panhandle after Michael.
“I saw what happens when a cat 5 hits landfall so I’m really praying for the Bahamas,” Gardler said. “People in Panama City, everything was devastated. Glad it looks like it’s not coming here.”
But Palm Beach County leaders urged residents to not become complacent.
“We believe the threat is decreasing,” said Bill Johnson, Palm Beach County Director of Emergency Management. “But we still see that there’ll be continued threat for wave action, beach erosion and riptides so I really haven’t backed down on the storm surge threat.”
Johnson said he believes Palm Beach County has about 9 to 17 hours of so of some potentially very bad weather here. He said the concern is storm surge, downed trees and power outages.