There were no signs of a Labor Day weekend rush early Saturday on Anna Maria Island in the aftermath of Hurricane Hermine.
There were no lines of cars trying to snake their way across the bridges from Bradenton to the beaches of Anna Maria Island.
Around the island, traffic was lighter than any other weekend — let alone a holiday weekend.
Many roads, especially on the north end of the island in the city of Anna Maria, were still closed off because of high water.
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There was as much parking available at both public beaches — Manatee Public Beach and Coquina Beach Park — as there were puddles early Saturday afternoon.
On the beach, the sand was soggy and crowds were small.
The surf had calmed significantly, compared to dangerous surf seen the previous three days, with a yellow flag flying, not a red one for the first time since then.
Anna Maria Bayfront Park still had a significant amount of water in its parking lot Saturday afternoon, but a few families had braved the flooding to get there.
Don Bussell’s family was among the few who ventured to the shore.
“We were thinking about coming fishing tonight, so we wanted to check out what the pier was looking like,” Bussell said.
Bussell, 70, and his wife had arrived in Sarasota on Wednesday from their home in Knoxville, Tenn., to visit their daughter and grandchildren.
“We’ve been stuck inside the house since then,” Bussell said.
With plans to stay a couple weeks still, he wasn’t too concerned about Hermine having dampened their time in Florida or the holiday weekend.
“Today’s Saturday. You’ve still got Sunday, Monday,” he said.
By late Saturday afternoon, however, the sun had finally come out on soggy Anna Maria Island, and people started to make their way out to the beach.
“We got a pretty good crowd now,” lifeguard Chelsea Hart said at about 5:30 p.m.
Hart, who was patrolling the beach at Coquina Beach Park, said the surf had began to calm, and the sand was finally starting to dry out, even though there were still puddles around.
The day had started with a red flag, indicating very hazardous conditions with high surf and strong currents. By early afternoon, a yellow flag was waiving, indicating moderately hazardous conditions with moderate surf and currents.
Rip currents remain a hazard, however.
“The wind has gone definitely died out,” Hart said. “Tomorrow I think it will begin to flatten out.”