Friday was windy and rainy in South Florida as the outer bands of Hurricane Sandy intermittently moved across across the region, with the tropical storm warning pushed up the state's east coast.
At 8 p.m., a tropical storm warning was discontinued between Deerfield Beach and Jupiter Inlet. One was still in effect from Jupiter Inlet north to St. Augustine.
Though Sandy remained about 200 miles to the east in the Atlantic, tropical storm force gusts up to 50 mph were possible throughout the day, along with some passing downpours.
"We will still have the outer bands from Sandy moving across South Florida from time to time," said Kim Brabander, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
He added that there would be brief periods of heavy rain throughout the afternoon, after which conditions were expected to improve.
"It's just going to really be windy and this is going to produce high risk of rip currents at the beaches," he said.
Brabander added that residents should not go swimming at the beaches. Weather was expected to become much drier over the weekend as the storm moves to the north and northeast. A significant cold front was expected to hit South Florida on Wednesday with temperatures around 60 degrees.
Sandy Delgado, a meteorologist with the hurricane center, said that by Friday night the storm will be moving away from Florida and the Bahamas, and by Monday it will turn towards the northwest, potentially affecting a very large area.
"Basically, it's going to be making landfall in the mid-Atlantic states. Because the wind field is very large, the entire Northeast is going to be affected," he said.
He said some areas may have tropical storm force winds for more than 48 hours. This may cause coastal flooding and inland damages, including downed power lines, he said.
"Areas from Delaware to southern New Jersey may see about 10 inches of rain. Some areas may see more," he said.
Meanwhile, Florida Power and Light was reporting 3,500 power outages in Miami-Dade and 4,000 outages in Broward early Friday due to the storm. More than 60,000 customers have had their power restored since Thursday night and 1,500 crews were working around the clock until all power was restored, FPL said.
A stretch of A1A, from Sunrise Boulevard north to Northeast 20th Street, was closed due to flooding, Fort Lauderdale city spokesman Matt Little said. One lane of A1A from Fort Lauderdale Beach Park to Las Olas Boulevard was also closed.
Over 100 workers were responding to the beach area for cleanup, Little said. After waters recede, the remaining water will be pumped out and sand will be removed from the roadway.
The cleanup job was a daylong project.
"It's not as bad as we've seen it but because we're not under the watch of a hurricane the residents were unprepared for this type of impact on A1A, so it seems to be something out of the ordinary," Fort Lauderdale Police spokeswoman Det. Deanna Garcia said.
Still, surfers were back at the beach after an ugly Thursday.
“These waves are good. They were fun to surf," Yann Meyjonade said. "And I think tomorrow is going to be even better."
Just up the street, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show was also having a better day.
"We got a little bit of windblown, of course, but the crews were on site very early, we got everything together and the show was open on time at 10:00," the show's Daniel Grant said.
Down at South Beach, surfers were taking advantage of some of the best waves the area has seen for years.
"It’s very rare for this place to see waves like this, its unreal," Brian Dix said.
Said surfer Danny Collazo: “Most people that come down to South Beach come for the sun and the lifestyle, but you don't expect to see waves like this."
In some areas of South Beach water levels were above the curb, but no damage was reported.
From the beach to the street, Ocean Drive was bustling once again. Peter and Silvia Pavelec, vacationing here from London, were grateful to dine outside along Lincoln Road.
"We're quite happy that Sandy's not coming through here. That would probably spoil our holidays completely," Peter Pavelec said.
The Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier was closed due to damages from Sandy. The repairs were expected to take several days. The public beach was also closed to swimmers.
Miami-Dade Transit officials said services would continue to operate Friday. Tri-Rail is also operating on a normal weekday schedule.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport remained full operational with all normal services, though travelers were encouraged to arrive early and some flights Friday had already been canceled.
A total of 15 arrivals and 14 departures were canceled at FLL as of 9:30 a.m. The canceled flights included Virgin America's morning flights to San Francisco and Los Angeles, JetBlue's 7 a.m. flight to Kingston, Jamaica, and Delta's 7:05 a.m. flight to Tallahassee.
A total of 39 flights to and from Miami International Airport had also been canceled Friday.
As of 11 p.m., Sandy was a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph as it moved north at 7 mph about 90 miles north of Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas and about 395 miles south-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina.
A tropical storm warning was in effect for the South Santee River in South Carolina to Duck, North Carolina, including Pamlico and Albermarle sounds. A warning also remained active for Great Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands.
A tropical storm watch was in effect in Florida from north of St. Augustine to Fernandina Beach, and elsewhere from the Savannah River to the South Santee River as well as in Bermuda.
Sandy is expected to produce 1-3 inches of rainfall across the Florida Keys and into southeastern and east-central Florida with maximum amounts of 6 inches possible, according to the hurricane center.
Sandy was downgraded from a Category 2 hurricane late Thursday, and while it was still a Category 1 hurricane Friday night, forecasters said it could weaken to a tropical storm on Saturday.
With storm conditions projected to hit New Jersey with tropical storm-force winds Tuesday, there was a 90 percent chance that most of the U.S. East Coast would get steady gale-force winds, flooding, heavy rain and maybe snow starting Sunday and stretching past Wednesday, U.S. forecaster Jim Cisco said.