The storm threatened the Panhandle coast with 50 mile an hour winds, but the storm was above all, a vacation spoiler.
From Apalachicola to Tallahassee residents of the eastern Panhandle woke up to rain that lasted till almost noon. Bonnie produced turbulent high surf, wind gusts and localized flooding, but most of all the storm was a vacation spoiler for the Nitzken family from Louisville Kentucky. They were trying to relax on St. George Island.
"Well we figured leaving here with the rain it would probably be safer just staying put actually,” says realtor Joe Nitzken.
"This is the biggest storm I’ve ever seen,” comments daughter Amanda Nitzken.
Most vacation rentals were empty. Mark Follar and his family hung on till the rains passed before returning home to Tampa, and along the coast, some hoped beyond hope that storm will provide some surfing excitement.
Bonnie was a warning to the Panhandle to get ready, but everyone is looking past the Tropical Storm to Charley to see what that storm will do.
Bonnie fizzled before doing much damage, but state officials say the same won’t be true for the approaching Charley.
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 storms will only add to the problem.