ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Gulf Coast is a hugely popular vacation spot for South Georgians. The impending oil was pretty much the topic of conversation in restaurants and on the beach. On the beach, west of Panama City, it was obvious crews were preparing for its arrival.
These pictures were taken Sunday at Phillips Inlet near the Bay/Walton County line. I walked down the beach, maybe a mile to check out what the work crews had accomplished. There were several piles of booms piled on the beach, just waiting to be pressed into service.
You can see crews parked their bull dozers a little further back in the inlet, but had been pushing sand to be used as a barrier to block off any access from the Gulf of Mexico to Phillips Inlet and Lake Powell.
Crews had constructed a pretty decent sand wall or berm to keep the oil residue from getting into the lake. It was also obvious The Department of Environmental Protection and Bay County Public Works along with Law enforcement were watching the water anxiously for the first sign of oil on the beach.
We did not see any oil on the beach and a lot of people were out, trying to enjoy what sunshine there was around the showers worried this might be their last chance. A lot of people were also approaching the law enforcement vehicles wanting to know when that oil might arrive.
Deepwater Horizon Response has been confirmed reports of tarballs and area of light sheen from Escambia County to Walton County.
June 7 Update - To date, there is no oil along Franklin County's shoreline. Emergency officials are carefully watching winds, currents and other factors that may affect the distribution of the oil sheen and say they plan to begin protecting the coastline this week with staging and boom activities in case conditions change.
As of the latest NOAA projections, Franklin County is not included in the 72-hour trajectory zone.
At this time, there are no beach closures in Franklin County and Florida's state waters remain open to recreational fishing. Franklin County's more than 200 miles of beaches and shoreline coastline are oil free and open for business.
If you are planning a trip to Franklin County and are concerned about impacts from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, tourism officials encourage you to check with local lodging providers in order to get the most up-to-date information. To make it easy, we're providing you a direct link here to all of Franklin County's accommodations.
Forgotten Coast TV is taking daily video beach reports from several locations in Franklin County. Watch all of the Video Beach Reports here.