As of right now, there IS NO OIL on or near the beaches of Panama City Beach. In addition, as of right now, we are not within the “area of uncertainty” with no expectation of oil hitting our shores – today.
Tthe Area of Uncertainty is the area in the Gulf of Mexico in which the oil spill could enter within 72 hours – otherwise known as the projected trajectory.
At a press briefing this morning at the Bay County EOC (emergency operations center) it was confirmed that no oil, sheen or tar balls have reached our shores. As of right now, we have no documented cases of oil odors in our area that are stemmed from the Deep Horizon oil spill.
There have been some shoreline impacts to areas to the west in Louisiana. Over the weekend there were reports of oil impact as far east as Dauphin Island, however, talking to several folks that have friends who live at the Island--they have said they haven't seen any tar balls or even oil sheen.
As far as Panama City Beach is concerned, we still have no oil here, and our waters are looking absolutely gorgeous!
Florida beaches are open.
• The 72-hour NOAA trajectory shows no oil landfall in Florida.
• According to the NOAA oil plume model, the oil spill is 100 miles southwest of Pensacola, 179 miles from Port St. Joe, and 340 miles from St. Petersburg.
Even though we are not in the trajectory path, we are making preparations just in case. Panama City has stage 5,600 feet of oil containment boom with another 10,000 ordered.
Please do not cancel vacations for no reason. Believe me, we don't want you coming here if we have oil threatening our shoreline---We'll be busy trying to save our beaches. So please check with your particular city in Florida if you have made reservations.
Mexico Beach had a gorgeous Mother's Day weekend---the weather was beautiful, the beaches were beautiful and there were loads of families having a great time!
Please don't hesitate to call me anytime if you have questions or concerns about the oil spill. I'll do my best to answer them!