Oil hits Pensacola, Panama City prepares to protect St. Andrew Bay - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Oil hits Pensacola, PC preps to protect St. Andrew Bay

Posted: Updated:
  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • PCA faces judge Monday for salmonella outbreak

    PCA faces judge Monday for salmonella outbreak

    Monday, July 28 2014 4:03 AM EDT2014-07-28 08:03:54 GMT
     Happening today jury selection set to get underway in one of the largest food recall cases in our nation's history. It comes nearly 5 years after a deadly salmonella outbreak was linked to a south Georgia peanut manufacture and three people, including it's former owner are set to stand trial. More >>
     Happening today jury selection set to get underway in one of the largest food recall cases in our nation's history. It comes nearly 5 years after a deadly salmonella outbreak was linked to a south Georgia peanut manufacture and three people, including it's former owner are set to stand trial. More >>
  • Flat tire leads to deadly crash in Crisp County

    Flat tire leads to deadly crash in Crisp County

    Monday, July 28 2014 3:43 AM EDT2014-07-28 07:43:51 GMT
    An overnight crash involving semi truck turned deadly on Interstate 75 in Crisp County.According to Crisp County Sheriff Billy Hancock, a car suffered a blowout and came to a rest in the traffic lane of I-75 south near exit 94.While awaiting assistance from a deputy, a tractor trailer slammed into the back of the car. The driver was thrown from the vehicle and killed.It happened around 1:45 AM.The truck driver was not seriously injured.The Georgia State Patrol and the GDOT are investigating.T...More >>
    An overnight crash involving semi truck turned deadly on Interstate 75 in Crisp County.According to Crisp County Sheriff Billy Hancock, a car suffered a blowout and came to a rest in the traffic lane of I-75 south near exit 94.While awaiting assistance from a deputy, a tractor trailer slammed into the back of the car. The driver was thrown from the vehicle and killed.It happened around 1:45 AM.The truck driver was not seriously injured.The Georgia State Patrol and the GDOT are investigating.T...More >>
  • UPDATE: Police search for man who shot up two vehicles

    UPDATE: Police search for man who shot up two vehicles

    Sunday, July 27 2014 11:38 PM EDT2014-07-28 03:38:04 GMT
    Albany police say several shots were fired into an unoccupied vehicle Sunday evening at a restaurant parking lot.More >>
    Albany police say several shots were fired into an unoccupied vehicle Sunday evening at a restaurant parking lot.More >>

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

PANAMA CITY BEACH,  FL (WALB) – The Gulf Crisis continues Thursday morning. Oil is now in the Pensacola Pass and on it's shores in the largest amounts yet. And east of that, Florida beaches are scattered with more tar balls.

To prepare for the inevitable, Panama city is now building a massive blockade with steel pilings and heavy duty booms to keep out the oil they know will show up soon.

In Panama city we still aren't hearing any reports of oil. There are a few tar balls here and there but nothing like they are seeing in Florida counties to the west. But an aerial view of the gulf shows the slick is coming. That's why people in Panama city are taking quick actions to protect their bay before it's too late.

From the sky you can see long orange strings of oil fill the Gulf. Some of that oil is already on Pensacola's shore. That's why officials to the east in Panama City are on defense.

 "We're preparing for the long haul," said Bay County Emergency Services Chief Mark Bowen.

The Bay county commission approved a plan Tuesday evening to build a massive booming system for the St. Andrew Pass.

 "It is steel pilings that will be driven in and stand about 10 feet above the high tide and in between people will see very large booms," said Bowen.

The St. Andrew Pass is the only access to the gulf from the bay. When it's all complete it will serve as a huge gate to block out the oil.

 They aren't wasting any time on the construction. It's expected to be up and operating in just 23 days.

 But while people wait for sheets of oil to arrive, Florida Fish and Wildlife officials are staying busy with oil spottings. They check it out, document  the tar balls' location then call in BP crews to clean them up.

 "We have boats out trying to find it before it gets on the beaches. doing everything we can to keep the impact as low as possible," said Officer Larry Morris with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

In Pensacola there are already reports of beached dolphins because of the spill, a sight Floridians have been dreading since day 1.

 "The wildlife, the tourism, the beaches, is it going to destroy them?" asked Morris.

 Sadly, It's a question that may take years to answer. But from a birds eye view, the future isn't looking bright.

 A tropical wave has formed south of Haiti. Emergency officials say it could push the oil closer to shore and send it even farther down the Gulf coast.

Thousands of BP contractors are now working 12-hour overnight shifts along the coast to keep up with the clean up that needs more attention as each day passes.


©2010 WALB News. All rights reserved.