Angry Ivan churns gulf at Panama City Beach - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Angry Ivan churns gulf at Panama City Beach

September 15, 2004

Panama City Beach- Those who did not take the evacuation found themselves up against a powerful surf, wind and rain. Emergency crews have told us a house has fallen into the bay, 50 miles East of us in Gulf County and there are two more homes that are on the verge of crashing into the water.

We are under a Hurricane and Tornado Warning right now. Ivan the Terrible has people curious and scared.

Powerful waves take out their anger on Panama City Beach. "A lot bigger from what I'm used seeing, I promise you," said Panama City Beach Resident Jesse Sneed. "When I first got here it was calm and serene, but now it's like 'I'm mad.'"

Mad from Hurricane Ivan's furry. Jesse Sneed moved here only two weeks ago. " 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."

Ivan is making the Gulf of Mexico restless in Panama City Beach. Waves are so strong that they are getting extremely close to hotels, which may cause beach erosion and flooding.

"It's looking real bad," said Marina Employee Ricky Jackson.

Choppy waters are also playing a magic trick with docks. Some have already disappeared at the Treasure Island Marina at Grand Lagoon. Meanwhile, boats are taking a gamble.some tied down others lifted up.

"That will keep them from bamming against each other," Jackson said.

While some dare Ivan to bring it on, others ask politely to leave downtown alone. "Yeah, it's just the beginning of it we've got a long way," said Jackson.

It is just the beginning and so far it hasn't been that bad, but things will change as we move closer to the darker hours.

Hathaway Bridge, the main artery between Panama City and Panama City Beach is still open. If winds get up to 55 mile per hour gusts the bridges will shut down. We are expecting tropical force winds around seven tonight.

A mandatory evacuation went into effect yesterday morning. Emergency crews are urging people to stay away from Panama City Beach.

posted at 4:00PM by dave.miller@walb.com