Just 'another rainy weekend': Remnants of Karen blow by Destin with little impact

Matt Algarin
With rain falling from Tropical Storm Karen, Charlie Hames, decked out in his yellow rain slicker, shows off one of the pinfish he caught Sunday on the docks behind AJ's Seafood & Oyster Bar. Hames said he loves to fish and has weighed in three or four fish at the 65th annual Destin Fishing Rodeo this year, even a 4.2-pound red snapper.

With Tropical Storm Karen fizzling out before she ever made landfall, there wasn't much to be concerned with in Destin.

"It was just another rainy weekend in Destin," said Doug Rainer, the city's public information manager. "We met yesterday (Monday) and had our debriefing and I don't remember there being any issues."

While the threat of Karen's impact along the Panhandle forced organizers to cancel the 35th Annual Seafood Festival, rain on Sunday proved to be the only noticeable impact from the storm.

Based on rain data from the city of Destin, Karen dropped a total of 1.87-inches of rain on the city, the vast majority of which fell on Sunday. The maximum wind gust associated with the storm came on Monday, when a 26 mph gust from the north was recorded.

Typically during any type of wind and heavy rain event, erosion becomes one of the main factors, especially along Norriego Point and the recently restored beaches in Destin.

City leaders say, typically without hesitation, that they expect to lose some sand due to wave action and the outgoing tides. But that wasn't the case with Karen. Norriego Point, still looked battered but appeared unbreached.

Reports from Holiday Isle were even better, as Lucky Stepp from Jetty East told The Log that his beaches are still "big and beautiful" after heavy rains Sunday.

"Our beach held up just fine, and we didn't lose much sand, if any at all," he said. "It's (the restoration project) turning out to work really well."

Although it wasn't related to the storm, there were approximately 750 customers along Indian Bayou, Airport Road and Commons Drive without power Saturday night.

Flashing lights from the trucks and spot lights could be seen looking over power poles along Airport Road and Indian Bayou as crews worked to restore power. Traffic at the intersection of Airport Road and Commons Drive was diverted due to a downed power line.

All told, customers were without power for about four hours, Gulf Power's Natalie Smith told The Log.

But what caused the outage?

Smith said a squirrel on some of the power equipment was to blame and caused the wires’ "burn down."

As for Karen’s biggest impact, organizers said there is no word yet on whether the seafood festivalwill be rescheduled, but organizers are studying the calendar and looking at the budget.