Tropical storm-force winds were possible Monday in New Jersey. Gov. Chris Christie warned that minor to moderate flooding was still likely in coastal areas and said the storm will cause major problems, even as it tracks away from land.
"Don't be lulled by the nice weather," Christie said, referring to the bright sunny skies along the Jersey Shore on Sunday. "Don't think that nothing is going to happen, because something is going to happen."
On the Virginia Beach boardwalk, the Atlantic Ocean roared with uncharacteristically large waves, drawing only a couple of surfers into the choppy white water. But hundreds, if not thousands of people, had descended onto the beach for the traditional last weekend of summer. Umbrellas and canopies dotted the sand under partly sunny skies.
Hermine failed to stop Barb and Don Willis of Buffalo, New York, from enjoying the trip they booked months ago. They even braved the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel on Saturday as the wind whipped their car and the bay rose close to the bridge's bottom.
"That was so scary," Barb Willis said. "Oh my God. My hands were white knuckles, and the water was so high. It was horrible," she said.
The couple, both in their 60s, said they knew the storm would blow over, even as friends texted their concerns.
New York City planned to close its beaches Monday because of rip currents, and the ban could extend into Tuesday, depending on weather conditions, officials said.
Long Island authorities urged people to evacuate the summer getaway known as Fire Island to avoid any storm surge and coastal flooding. Emergency officials warned that anyone who stayed would not be able to leave after ferries shut down Sunday evening.
Hermine rose up over the Gulf of Mexico and hit Florida on Friday as a Category 1 hurricane before weakening to a tropical storm across Georgia.