The Beaches area continues to feel the wrath of Tropical Storm Fay. It's not like she's in a big hurry to get out of here or anything. Quite the contrary! Like a guest that's over stayed their welcome, it's past time for Fay to go. She has been lurking off of the coast of Northeast Florida for two days. When she finally headed West today, she brought buckets of rain with her. Along with the buckets of rain, she brought 40 mph winds with gusts up to 55 mph. It's been a rough afternoon here at the Beach. The damage so far is minimal. There have been numerous reports of flooded streets and a few trees down, but all in all, we've been lucky. We've been spared any real serious damage. Property damage is very low considering how bad it could have been... I wish the story ended here.
Jacksonville Beach rarely has to worry about tropical systems. When we do, we take it pretty serious. Unfortunately, one person lost their life in Neptune Beach today. Three swimmers from Indiana decided to go swimming in the ocean when the waves were at their worst. One died and one is in critical condition after being rescued by Fire and Rescue. It's so sad. Anyone that took one look at the 13+ foot waves and felt the power of the wind would know not to venture in. I feel so bad for the families of the person that died and for the others involved. It's a sad side bar to what should have been a story about the fury of Mother Nature and how well prepared we were.
We live in Paradise for the most part; friendly people, great restaurants, fun festivals, great shopping and of course, beautiful beaches. Every once in a while we're reminded of the power of these tropical systems.
Please don't take any chances when one of these systems comes through our area.