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Whipping winds don't keep visitors from beaches on Thanksgiving

Hazardous conditions should subside by weekend

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JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – Heavy wind from a nor’easter Thursday didn’t keep people away from the beach this Thanksgiving.

Gale warnings are in effect for all coastal communities. A gale warning is the equivalent of a lower end tropical storm warning.

Even so, visitors enjoyed the beaches Thursday, some from as far away as Brazil.

"The in-laws are in town from Brazil, so we figure, 'Let's take them for a stroll,' even though it’s a windy day,” said Heverton Macedo, who moved to the Jacksonville area from Boston last year.

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Others with northern connections also enjoyed the beach, including Laura Elsner and her son, Daniel McGrath, who were visiting from Chicago.

“The weather is a little chilly here today, but in Chicago, I think it's in the 30s, so we're really happy,” Elsner said. “We're walking down the pier seeing people fish and life's good.”

Red flags blowing in the wind Thursday meant hazardous conditions in the surf, but meteorologist Rebecca Barry, with The Weather Authority, said the nor’easter should be over by Saturday, hopefully allowing for more sunshine.

Neptune Beach police are expecting heavy crowds through the weekend and they're ready.

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They reminded people Thursday about their "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign. If you’re drinking, have a sober driver, take a taxi or use a rideshare service.

They also remind drivers that the roads will have more traffic, so be patient.

The Army Corps of Engineers said the nor’easter could possibly delay pumping for the ongoing renourishment project because of high seas, but they hope to continue work as much as possible.