Panhandle readies for Ivan's wrath - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Panhandle readies for Ivan's wrath

September 15, 2004

Panama City-- The area famous for its beaches is already feeling some of Hurricane Ivan's power. Although the hot vacation spot may not be in the path of the eye, intense winds and rain are expected sometime today.

Hurricane Ivan is already showing off in Panama City Beach. Wind is picking up and it's starting to rain. This Lagoon behind The Treasure Ship Restaurant is choppy. There are still a few boats tied to the dock, but most of the boats are out of the water. And you won't see many people in the Gulf of Mexico. It's a dangerous surf right now. Waves are powerful and making their way closer to hotels which may cause beach erosion and flooding.

We found a few people this morning taking a look at the powerful and angry surf. Jesse Sneed was one of them.he moved from Texas to Panama City Beach only two weeks ago. He welcomed his first hurricane by writing in the sand "Hello Ivan."

"A little worried because I've never been through a hurricane, this is first for me, so just go back to the house and ride it out and see what happens."

Businesses are continuing to board up windows, this shop spray painted a note on plywood."Ivan we're stayin, show me what you got."

And right now we're waiting to see what Ivan brings to Panama City Beach. Right now it's just gusty winds, rain and choppy waters.

Emergency crews are urging people who were told to leave to stay away from Panama City Beach until the storm passes. Mainly the people who live close to water are being told to evacuate, but we did talk to a woman last night who can see the gulf from her front window and she was not in the evacuation plan.

Stronger winds and more rain can be expected later today in Panama City Beach. Hurricane Ivan's eye is heading toward Mississippi and Alabama, but areas even as far as Albany and Atlanta may be feeling the effects too.

posted at 11:48AM by dave.miller@walb.com