A fizzled-out Tropical Storm Ernesto did little to no damage in Palm Beach County, the top county emergency planner said this morning.
Maximum sustained winds topped out at 40 mph or 45 mph, leaving behind very little debris, said Assistant County Administrator Vince Bonvento. Flooding, the top concern associated with Ernesto, was a non-factor, he said.
Power outages were few � just 7,600 across the entire state at 8 a.m., an FPL spokesman said.
“It just died out,” Bonvento said this morning. “We were anticipating gale force winds at 3 a.m. and tropical storm force winds at midnight, and I went home and stayed up late. We just had scattered showers where I [live]. It was like, ‘What’s happening?’ And when I woke up in the morning, it was obvious the storm just never really materialized.”
County offices, schools and transportation systems will remained closed today. But county offices will reopen Thursday, and it’s likely the schools will do the same, Bonvento said.
For those who don’t have to report to work today, it could be a time for leisure. All major malls in Palm Beach County are open for regular business hours today. Malls Include: Boynton Beach, The Gardens, Palm Beach Gardens, Town Center, Boca Raton and the Mall at Wellington Green.
Officials at City Place in West Palm Beach said they expect most bars and restaurants to open by lunch. Most police and fire departments in Palm Beach County reported that everything was business as usual Wednesday morning.
“We’re up and running with power,” said Boynton Beach police Sgt. Stewart Steele. “I don’t want to jinx us.”
“I don’t think it got us that bad,” said police Sgt. Rick Ponce, who did not see downed trees or power lines while driving through the city. “It’s a little windy right now and there’s just a little bit of rain.”
Residents in West Palm Beach are experiencing similar weather conditions, authorities reported.