Tropical Storm Debby puts damper on Florida vacations
by Brendan Farrington, Associated Press
June 27, 2012 12:28 AM | 745 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lifeguard towers on Clearwater Beach are awash from high waters from Tropical Storm Debby in Clearwater Beach, Fla. Vacationers were wearing ponchos instead of swimsuits at the peak of the summer season because of the tropical storm, which has drenched Florida for at least four days straight.<br>The Associated Press
Lifeguard towers on Clearwater Beach are awash from high waters from Tropical Storm Debby in Clearwater Beach, Fla. Vacationers were wearing ponchos instead of swimsuits at the peak of the summer season because of the tropical storm, which has drenched Florida for at least four days straight.
The Associated Press
slideshow
ST. GEORGE ISLAND, Fla. — Debby, the guest who wouldn’t leave, is ruining things for a lot of other visitors.

Vacationers were wearing ponchos instead of swimsuits at the peak of the summer season because of the tropical storm, which has drenched Florida for at least four days straight like a big shower head set up off the state’s Gulf Coast. Debby has dumped as much as 26 inches of rain in some spots.

Disney World wasn’t as crowded as usual, and some of its theme parks closed early Monday because of the soggy, windy weather. Along the Florida Panhandle, where Debby has sat offshore nearly motionless for days, the parking lot at the 100-room Buccaneer Inn was empty because of a power outage ahead of the usually big pre-July Fourth weekend.

“We’ve had bad luck on this island,” said the inn’s vice president, JoAnn Shiver. “We’ve had Dennis. We’ve had Katrina. We had the oil spill.”

In a state where the biggest attractions are the sand and the sun, Debby forced many to make other plans.

Douglas and Carolyn Green of Nashville, Tenn., were supposed to spend a week on St. George Island with three generations of family, but arrived to find the electricity was out and the bridge closed to non-residents for fear of looters. They spent Monday night in nearby Apalachicola, and then all nine relatives headed to Fort Walton Beach.

“We never saw the island,” said Douglas Green. “We’re moving on. Plan B, I guess you’d call it.”

Debby was expected to blow ashore by this morning in the Big Bend area — the crook of Florida’s elbow — then cross the state and head into the Atlantic.

As of midafternoon Tuesday, it was centered about 35 miles off the coast and moving northeast at 6 mph. Debby was weakening and had sustained winds near 40 mph, barely a tropical storm.
Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides