Out-of-towners making the most of their vacation during Elsa

Posted at 12:08 AM, Jul 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-09 00:35:15-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Tourists and locals alike didn’t let the impact of Tropical Storm Elsa dampen their spirits at the Oceanfront Thursday.

People were met with strong, sporadic wind gusts and bursts of heavy rain, making Atlantic Avenue virtually a ghost town.

One couple from Minnesota said Thursday was the most exciting part of their vacation because they had never experienced the effects of a tropical storm.

“We’re used to snowstorms,” Kevin Day said.

By 10 p.m., the rain had let up, and the Oceanfront was relatively calm and quiet.

Over in Sandbridge, large puddles formed in low-lying areas on Sandfiddler Road. A few kids and kids at heart couldn’t resist running through the water.

“We were just splashing in the puddles,” said 10-year-old Jonathan Baker of York, Penn.

Many vacationers were making the most of their stay waiting out the storm inside their rental homes.

“It’s been great,” said Claudio Proserpio of Denver, Colo. “We knew this was going to happen. We’re hoping to get some sun tomorrow, but this hasn’t been bad. It’s been raining quite a bit."

Proserpio said the group has been vacationing in Virginia Beach the past three years and Thursday was the first time they experienced impacts of a tropical storm.

“The wives have been drinking all day,” he said. “We’ve been watching movies and dealing with all the kids. It’s been fun; we manage.”

The waves at Sandbridge Beach were churning and crashing near a pier as winds kicked up creating choppy conditions in the ocean.

“It’s cool; the ocean is cool,” Baker said. “The waves are big. They’re good for boogie boarding and body surfing.”

Related: Hundreds of campsites evacuated at local state parks ahead of Elsa

News 3 caught up with one of the lifeguards at the end of her shift. Madeline Psimas said thankfully she hasn’t had to make any rescues.

“I had to blow the whistle a couple times,” she said. “The wind has picked up quite a bit and the waves and swell have gotten bigger, and the rain has been coming down too harder. The weather changes pretty fast here. It’s calmed down today and then got like this again, but I think it’s just getting worse from here.”