VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – All week we’ve been dealing with cool and breezy conditions, but rain in the forecast for Memorial Day Weekend isn’t stopping tourists from making the most of their trip.
Strong winds are creating some dangerous conditions in the water, prompting red flags on the beach.
The Hill family drove 24 hours from Garden City, Kansas to get here and said they were hoping to get in the ocean.
“She’s super stoked to get in the water but with the red flags we were disappointed, so we’ll have to try another day,” said Kim Hill.
Chief of Virginia Beach Lifesaving Service Tom Gill said typically they’d have 12 lifeguards out in stands right now, but instead, they’re patrolling the beach in trucks and ATVs encouraging people to stay out of the ocean.
“Right now it’s such a hard northeast wind that even on the rip current side, it’s pushing so hard that you might not get the rip currents,” Gill said, “but that shore current is just going to sweep you off your feet. We’ve got to keep people out of the water for right now.”
Business owners at the Oceanfront say no matter the forecast, they’re ready for tourists to hit the area this weekend.
It’s a Shore Thing owner Avinash Basnet spent the day unpacking boxes as he prepares to open their newest location at 16th and Pacific.
“Something that we cannot do is we cannot fight against the weather,” Basnet said. “It’s going to impact a little bit, but at the same time they’ll come and do some shopping, that’s what I’m hoping.”
He said usually it’s pretty chilly this time of year, so he’s stocked with his biggest seller, sweatshirts.
“Sweatshirts are the main seller for us,” Basnet said. “People always ask why I have this many sweatshirts, but that’s the biggest seller. “
Gill said despite the current weather, there’s much to look forward to for the summer.
“There’s plenty of summer left,” Gill said. “It’s going to be here and there’s lots coming to the beach this summer we are very excited about it.”
If you’d like to get notified when the conditions change, you can text “BEACH” to 67283 to receive real-time beach status updates straight to your phone.