As Hurricane Dorian passes, local residents quickly look to return their lives to normal.
WELLINGTON -- Residents eager to feel sun on their skin and break free from homes encased in hurricane shutters poured onto the streets Tuesday, braving rain bands from Hurricane Dorian in exchange for a solution to cabin fever.
And businesses slowly opened Tuesday in Wellington and Royal Palm Beach. Restaurants were packed with families, and moms eager for a little “retail therapy” rejoiced at Target’s 3 p.m. reopening.
Both villages said all offices, parks and facilities would open for normal business hours Wednesday -- good news for families, with Palm Beach County schools closed at least one more day.
Wellington was in “great shape,” Village Manager Paul Schofield said in a video update, adding, “I’m very glad that as a community we took this storm seriously.”
“It’s a rainy day, that’s it,” Royal Palm Beach Village Manager Ray Liggins said of Tuesday’s weather.
Both villages closed their emergency operations centers Tuesday and planned to be back to work Wednesday.
“I would always much rather do the practice than the real thing,” Liggins said of Royal Palm’s preparations.
Theresa Comstock and her 3-year-old son, Colton, took advantage of a break in the rain Tuesday afternoon to visit the playground at Veterans Park in Royal Palm Beach.
“He saw that the sun was out so we had to come to the park,” she said.
Comstock, Colton, and his brother and sister passed the time by watching movies and “playing a lot of Uno,” she said.
The family weathered the anticipation by keeping a wary eye on the storm while “trying to pretend this is a staycation,” Comstock said, laughing.
Meredith Ervin drove her two children, 5-year-old Mara and 10-month-old Tanner, from Loxahatchee to Veterans Park to “run off some energy,” Ervin said.
The trio has been stuck inside for the most part, though Ervin has gotten out as much as she can when it’s safe. The family has gone to a friend’s pool and had a meal at Gator’s Shack in Loxahatchee.
“We had to get out of the house,” Ervin said, laughing as she pushed Mara and Tanner on swings.
The anticipation leading up to the storm was tough to get through, she said.
“I noticed after awhile I had to turn the TV off,” Ervin said, adding that you can be as prepared as possible but still just need to get out of the house.
When she heard Costco would open Tuesday, Ervin said she was the first person in line for gas.
The warehouse store was open regular hours and was back to business as usual for the week, an associate told The Post on Tuesday.
Most stores and restaurants either were open by Tuesday afternoon or planned to reopen for regular hours Wednesday.
At Gabriel’s Cafe & Grill in Wellington, loyal customers were undeterred by boarded-up windows when they heard one of the first restaurants in Wellington was open with a limited menu.
Lowe’s and Home Depot were open Tuesday and dealing with a few hurricane-related returns, associates there said.
Sprouts and Fresh Market opened for regular hours Tuesday and were the only two grocery stores in Wellington that were open.
“It’s been steady,” a Sprouts manager said.