South Florida Surfers Take Advantage of Bonnie

Winds bring waves for Miami-Dade and Broward board-riders

South Florida surfers aren't accustomed to ripping through killer waves, but thanks to the wind brought by Tropical Storm Bonnie, many local wave riders were hitting the beaches early Friday with their boards.

Surfers in Haulover Beach were paddling out in the pre-dawn hours as Bonnie was making its approach to the Florida Keys and the rest of South Florida with sustained winds of 40 mph.

"The winds are picking up...I wanted to check out the surf to see how it was," said surfer Randic Morillo. "It's been good since last Friday, the winds have been pretty good, so today should be the best day being that it's blowing the hardest."

As of 11 a.m., Bonnie was tracking about 30 miles south-southeast of Miami and was bringing thrashing rains and winds throughout South Florida.

Despite officials asking that people stay away from the water, surfers like Morillo wait for opportunities to get good surf during storms.

"There's not many other outdoor sports that give you the same kind of thrill," Morillo said, adding that the danger is part of the sport. "All surfers have to deal with the riptides and the currents, you get used to it, especially in South Florida."

Despite dire warnings, the storm passed through the Bahamas and the Keys early Friday morning, leaving little damage. It was expected to bring rains and possibly flooding to South Florida, but Morillo echoed the sentiments of most around Broward and Miami-Dade.  

"It's not that bad," he said.

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