"You better know how to paddle if you try it," said Erickson, 56, from Moorehaven. He said he's been surfing for 40 years, and this was particularly rough.
His son Ethan, from Orlando, called the waves "gnarley."
"We're headed south," he said. "Gonna try Deerfield."
At the closed Lantana beach park, a few people strolled on the little beachfront that was still visible. Waves crashed all the way up to the wall, and stairs that usually go down to the sand now lead into a churning foam of sea water. Shortly before 1 p.m., police and lifeguards stationed on the beach told surfers, swimmers and those walking the boardwalk that the park was closed.
Florida Power & Light warned the storm could bring "widespread" power outages to southeast Florida. COVID-19 precautions could slow the restoration of power, FPL said.
Almost 200 homes were without power around 2 p.m. in Broward County, according to FPL's power tracker map. Crews worked overnight and restored power to 6,600 by 9 a.m.
In Palm Beach County, 390 homes were without power, and crews had already restored 9,640.
There were 151 reported homes without power in Miami-Dade, with crews restoring power to 4,140.
Those who live north of Palm Beach County on Florida's east coast should expect more outages through Monday, said Dave Reuter, FPL's spokesman. FPL officials are tracking the storm and crews are following it from south to north, working in areas when winds are slower than 35 mph.
"A significant number of customers remain in the path of this storm through the Palm Beaches, Treasure Coast and central and north Florida," Reuter said. "The storm has the potential to knock out power to a significant amount of customers based on its current track."