The Worst of Bonnie Has Passed - NBC 6 South Florida

The Worst of Bonnie Has Passed

Tropical storm warnings have been canceled as Bonnie moves west



    Weather Forecast -- 3:00 P.M. -- July 23, 2010

    Weather update (Published Friday, July 23, 2010)

    Tropical storm Bonnie has all but left South Florida and it appears most areas barely noticed her visit.

    Bonnie was making its way across South Florida on Friday, with bands of rain spreading across the mainland, but there were no reports of damage or injuries.   

    The National Hurricane Center said Bonnie came ashore Friday midday near Cutler Bay, about 20 miles south of Miami, with top sustained winds of 40 mph. The storm was headed over South Florida on a track to cross the Gulf of Mexico near the site of the massive BP oil spill by Sunday.

    All tropical storm warnings for South Florida, the Keys and the Bahamas have been canceled.

    Bonnie is now a tropical depression.

    "This is a disorganized tropical storm, so there will be some breaks in the clouds particularly as the storm moves on," said Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center in Miami. "We've had some claps of thunder that rattled the building."

    Feltgen advised swimmers and surfers to steer clear from the beaches for now.

    "This is not the kind of weather you want to be in surfing. We've had in the last several days very dangerous rip currents, and that was before the storm came," he said.

    Mike Hirooka, of Hirooka Surf and Sport on Miami Beach, said he had to cancel two surfing and kite surfing classes Friday because of the weather, and he expected to cancel his scheduled appointments Saturday.

    "When it's tropical storm conditions, I don't want to take that chance," he said.

    In Hallandale Beach, Fire Rescue and Public Works workers had been handing out sand bags but by late Friday morningg said they had temporarily run out.

    Officials said they had handed out 1,200 sand bags and were expecting a new shipment early in the afternoon.

    Further south, the Florida Keys were calm Friday afternoon.

    "I have not received any calls that conditions are bad," said Irene Toner, Monroe County Emergency Management director.

    At 7 a.m., there was only a slight drizzle over Marathon. Only 30 evacuees -- including tourists and residents who live on boats -- made their way to the two Monroe County shelters that were opened. Both were closed by 10 a.m. due to the calm weather, Toner said. 

    Tropical storm warnings were in place for much of Florida's east coast and from the Florida Panhandle at Destin to Morgan City, La.

    Bonnie is expected to strengthen when it moves over the Gulf late Friday and Saturday. The storm is moving west-northwest near 18 mph.

    In the Panhandle, where Bonnie is expected to churn up waters over the weekend, Florida emergency officials were removing hundreds of thousands of feet of boom as Bonnie churned north. The boom is being used to protect portions of the coast from the Gulf oil spill.

    Coast Guard Cmdr. Joe Boudrow said officials were worried about high winds and rough waters ruining the boom, pushing the boom into sensitive wetlands and damaging those areas and about the boom making it difficult for ships trying to get out of the storm's path.

    "It's important we get as much boom out of the water as possible as the storm approaches," he said.

    After the storm, officials will review how the rough seas have caused the oil slicks to move. That movement will likely change skimming operations off the Panhandle, he said.

    "The high seas and the winds will help mix and weather the oil and that's good, but the bad side is that the oil gets distributed over a winder area and it's harder to keep track of. Will have to go back out and look at our skimming operations and our fish closures," he said.

    Click here for a full list of storm closures throughout South Florida.