Wet weather puts damper on Memorial Day celebrations in Miami Beach

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Rainy weather has created some complications for Memorial Day weekend parties in South Florida.

Tourists could be seen carrying umbrellas as they walked through the nearly empty Ocean Drive, Friday afternoon. As the sun had set, the rain subsided and the crowds soon showed up, Friday night.

Memorial Day weekend usually brings large crowds to Miami Beach, but this year started a little slow.

“We thought it was gonna be hot, sun’s out, buns out, but nah,” said tourist Carii Macc.

Others said they aren’t going to let the rain get in the way of having a good time.

“Man, this rain is kinda bringing down the mood, but we still gonna turn up,” said visitor Meosha Jonson.

After getting a break from the rain, thousands took a stroll along Ocean Drive. “The rain was trying to delay it, but everybody’s enjoying themselves, it looks like,” said resident Shawn Greene.

Some visitors 7News spoke with said they came to South Florida for a good time and to party.

Miami Beach Police said they will be out in full force. “We’ve had a lot of police officers coming from other units,” said Miami Beach City manager Jimmy Morales. “We’re doing LPR checks on the causeways, MacArthur and [Julia] Tuttle all three nights to try to catch folks who might be coming to cause trouble.”

Officials also want to remind drivers about delays. Ocean Drive will be blocked from Friday morning until Tuesday. A loop will be initiated on Saturday and Sunday from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. It will take cars north on Collins from Fifth to 16th streets. It will then take motorists south on Washington Avenue.

“It’s all hands on deck to ensure everyone has a great time,” said Miami Beach Police spokesperson Ernesto Rodriguez.

Many Miami Beach events may be up in the air due to the weather. “We hope the storm doesn’t do too much stuff here and the folks who come down here, who paid for their tickets, can have a good time,” Morales said.

It was a different story in Fort Lauderdale. The Great American Beach Party has been cancelled due to the weather.

“There’s a possibility of lightning, perhaps some isolated flooding,” said Chaz Adams with the City of Fort Lauderdale. “All of those things combined really doesn’t make for a good day at the beach, unfortunately.”

Organizers of the Fort Lauderdale Air and Sea Show said they will watch the forecast closely. However, they said the event will take place rain or shine.

“You can’t control the weather but you can still have a good time,” said visitor Rita Brown.

About 300 Air Force recruits were sworn in prior to the event in Opa-locka, Friday.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott was a guest at the ceremony. “Never forget what Memorial Day is for,” he said to the group. “It’s to cherish and honor those who lost their lives serving our great nation.”

Meanwhile visitors along Ocean Drive said they’re staying positive about the weather for the weekend. “It’s OK. As long as I don’t get hit by no slimy or no storm, I’m good,” said Briana Montana.

The timing for a few scheduled events in Miami Beach have been changed due to the weather. To see the updates, click here.

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