HUTCHINSON ISLAND, Fla. - Florida may be out of Hurricane Irene's danger zone, but the storm is stirring up powerful waves, pelting rain and gusty winds along the Treasure Coast. Many people on Hutchinson Island have been heading out to the beach to check out the weather for themselves.
As of Thursday evening, winds were gusting up to 35 miles an hour near Bathtub Beach. Beachgoers, curious about the storm, watched from the shoreline and braced against Irene's outer bands as they passed over South Florida. Ken Frink and his son, Kenson, of Jensen Beach were among those who came out to the beach. Kenson's a surfer with the Special Olympics, but he's never seen waves like these.
"I just wanted him to see what real waves look like and what he has to look forward to when he really gets the hang of surfing," said Ken Frink.
Michelle Robb of Port Salerno wanted to see the powerful waves, too.
"I think it's great as long as we don't get hit by it and get affected by it and just have some wind and rain,” she said. “I'm fine with it."
Nick Carfi of Port Salerno said he gained a new respect for the storm.
"Even closer by the water, the way that the rain hits, it feels like it's just pelting you," said Carfi. “For people who are in the way of Irene, they’re in my thoughts and prayers.”
Lifeguards are urging beachgoers to be extremely careful. The dangers even exist on shore as the storm is washing up many jellyfish along the beach.
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