INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Wind gusts and rough seas were noticeable in Vero Beach early Saturday ahead of Hurricane Isaias.
Despite the conditions and the approaching storm, several people were out at South Beach Park making the most of their weekends before the storm.
The promise of a hurricane brought some to Vero Beach who wanted to catch the last few hours of sun and watch weather conditions deteriorate.
“We’re kind of amateur storm chasers,” said Richard Clarckson, 25, of Kenansville, which is roughly an hour northwest of Vero Beach.
Clarckson said he and his housemates drove down around 7 a.m. to watch the storm in advance toward South Florida’s northernmost counties.
He said it was “the cherry on top” of their trip.
Others who had planned their trips in advance were less excited about its timing.
“Just wanted to get a little sun and fun and of course this would happen,” said Eddie Pancito, 42, who had made the trip from Orlando with Caroline Pancito, 34. “Of course its 2020, so this would happen.”
A Tampa woman said she was on the east coast of the peninsula Saturday visiting with her family over the weekend.
She said they were waiting to see what the storm would do, before making the decision to leave a day early.
“We’re Floridians we’re not scared,” said Renee Noland, 33.
There were probably between 20 to 30 people along the shore at South Beach Park by 10:30 a.m. Some were surfers and most sunbathed or watched the turbulent water.
City of Vero Beach lifeguards said the park would close at 5 p.m. and likely would not reopen until Monday, because of the storm.
The latest update on Hurricane Isaias from the National Hurricane Center stated the hurricane was moving at roughly 13 mph over the Bahamas.
It’s expected to remain a hurricane through Monday, and will move near the state’s east coast by Saturday night or early Sunday, according to the 11 a.m. Saturday update.
Corey Arwood is a breaking news reporter for TCPalm. Follow Corey on Twitter @coreyarwood, or reach him by phone at 772-978-2246.