Beaches All Clear

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With Bonnie's lackluster performance on Bay County's shores, many people were back on the beach Thursday afternoon enjoying a mostly rain-free day.

Tourist officials say Bonnie really only spoiled vacations this week with weather reports encouraging some out-of-towners to head home early. Plenty of people did head out of town hoping to avoid torrential rains at the hands of Tropical Storm Bonnie, but those who stayed found a beautiful day on the other side of the storm.

Surf's up for locals and tourists alike. Bonnie may not have packed much of a punch, but she had enough gusto to make conditions perfect for surfers. In fact, many vacationers took the break in the rain Thursday afternoon to head down to the water. With red flags flying, Beach and Surf Patrol officials say they had a busy afternoon.

"We've had to tell a lot of people to get out of the water. Luckily the current is pushing people back into shore instead of out to sea," says Carol O’Neil of the Beach and Surf Patrol

But that doesn't mean you should try and brave those waves. Beach officials are hoping for calmer seas this weekend and local tourism leaders are trying to get the word out about our beautiful weekend weather in hopes that some of those who had their trips cut short will come back.

Bonnie may be moving on, but the rain she left behind will be plaguing the Panhandle for weeks. The ground was already saturated because of the summer rainy season, and Thursday's storm will only add to the problem.