Hurricane Matthew: people came to Juno Beach to see wind, waves

Mid-afternoon today, people stood on the Juno Beach pier to get photos of approaching Hurricane Matthew. (Photo/Barbara Marshall)

Mid-afternoon today, people on the Juno Beach pier took photos of the wild surf as Hurricane Matthew approaches. (Photo/Barbara Marshall)

Neither wind, rain squalls or an evacuation order kept people off the Juno Beach Pier this afternoon as Hurricane Matthew’s rain bands began to sweep into Palm Beach County.

Juno Beach earlier today issued an evacuation order for the entire town, which even the town manager didn’t expect all his residents to obey.

Hurricane Matthew: Full coverage

Joe Lo Bella predicted maybe half of Juno Beach’s 3,400 residents would leave.

Juno Beach resident Helen Gumiela and her husband had planned to stay, until a look at the crashing surf changed their minds.

“We just decided to leave during the last hour because of the size of the storm,” said Gumiela, who will stay with friends in Jupiter Farms. “We went through Super Storm Sandy and it was pretty devastating.  They’re still rebuilding houses there.”

Kristin Fumes and Luis Tito Rivas of North Palm Beach came to see the waves just to have something to do.

Photos: Hurricane Matthew’s effects on Florida

“We were bored at home watching movies,” said Rivas.  “I’m actually kind of excited for it to get here.”

Surfers Amanda Ski and Sergio Morales of Indiantown were trying to surf what looked like waves from a giant washing machine, saying they planned to stay until dark.

“It’s what you do when you’re a surfer in Florida,” said Morales.

In Abacoa, the only sign of the approaching hurricane was the utter absence of people on downtown streets, except for the hurricane party going on at J.J. Muggs Stadium Grill.

Holding a beer, Tim Combs expected to stay until “the wind’s so strong we can’t stand up anymore,” although it seemed a contest as to whether the beer or the wind would be the major factor in his remaining upright.

Reminder:  Evacuating Juno Beach residents may want to go to the shelter at Palm Beach Gardens Community High School at 4245 Holly Dr., Palm Beach Gardens.

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