No Tarballs Reported in Panama City Beach in Days

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by June 25, 2010 • 31 comments

Easterly and southeasterly winds have kept the oil spill plume away from us this week with nothing more than a few scattered pieces of oil soaked debris coming ashore up and down Panama City Beach.  As recently as last weekend, we had landfall of tarballs from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that’s still discharging into the gulf.

Bay County is being very proactive in minimizing any impact that we may see from the oil spill in Panama City Beach and our surrounding areas.  Efforts include building a complex boom gate system in the pass to limit any “product” from entering inland water ways, ordering 13 beach rakes (3 on their way, 10 more ordered), 4 skimmers working 7 miles off shore skimming product as it nears, and over 300 BP contractors are patrolling the beach non-stop surveying for any signs of oil making landfall.  Over the last couple days, contractors have begun nighttime operations as well with over 1,000 more people ready to be deployed for cleanup efforts if and when needed.

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Every morning I’m going to the beach at 8:30 am cst streaming live from my iPhone.  The video and audio quality is sub par, but it works, none the less.

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From Bay County.

  • No tarballs or other oil products washing ashore were reported to the Bay County Emergency Operations Center on Thursday.
  • Four skimmers are working seven miles offshore near Bay County in an effort to remove as much oil as possible to prevent landfall. The skimmers are part of an “inshore task force,” Bay County Emergency Services Chief Mark Bowen said, even though they are not visible from land. He said one drum skimmer is currently staged in Bay County, and the county is continues to work toward a contract for additional skimmers.
  • U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Steve Poulin held a press conference at the Panama City Marina staging area Thursday afternoon. Capt. Poulin is the Incident Commander for the Coast Guard’s Mobile District, and is responsible for overseeing the Coast Guard activities in Bay County, along with several other Florida counties in the Panhandle. He said that much progress is being made at the actual Deepwater Horizon well site, and that a cap collecting 25,000 to 29,000 barrels of oil per day has been replaced, after a robot disrupted that process Wednesday. He said he is looking at ways to include local government more, following a meeting Wednesday in Ft. Walton with area county officials, including Bay County.

“I heard loud and clear their desire to be included in our operations,” Poulin said, noting that the command structure has been revamped to include a Coast Guard and BP deputy incident commander for various new “branches” divided geographically. He said the new structure should help streamline relief efforts.

  • BP contractors remain working on Bay County beaches. BP Community Outreach Coordinator Vani Rao said Wednesday that some 300 BP contractors are currently working Bay County beaches during the daylight hours, and the company has begun nighttime operations as well. She said several hundred more BP workers are coming, and there could be as many as 1,000 here as the cleanup progresses.
  • Two decontamination stations inside the bay for recreational vessels are being identified, though they are not built out, according to U.S. Coast Guard Commander Mike Frender. Two decontamination stations are also staged in the gulf, with one located three miles south of the St. Andrews Pass and another seven miles south of the pass. Those stations are for commercial, military, response and recreational vessels that are actively sheening as a result of contact with oil product. Once they are operable, mariners should avoid using the stations inside the bay if possible and should make every attempt to utilize the stations in the Gulf, Frender said. Boaters whose vessels may have been affected by contact with oil may contact the U.S. Coast Guard on their VHF radios at Channel 16 or Channel 71. A new website, created by BP, lists vessel decontamination locations within the U.S. Coast Guard Mobile Sector for oiled boats.
  • BP has contracted TriState Bird Rescue and Research to perform all oiled wildlife rehabilitation for the event. There is a stabilization center in Panama City. If people see oiled wildlife, they need to report it to the oiled wildlife hotline 866-557-1401. BP has contracted responders who are to respond to reports within an hour of the call being received, according to a statement from the state Emergency Operations Center. Problems with response times may be reported to Oiled wildlife may also be reported to the local Bay County hotline at 248-6030.
  • The public is asked to report suspected oil sightings on Bay County shores or in the Gulf to Bay County’s hotline at (850) 248-6030, rather than calling 9-1-1, as the emergency response system is for life-and-death situations, and Unified Command can better respond to beach cleanup requests if the local number is used.

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1 Kirby Smith June 25, 2010 at 12:48 pm

thank you for working so hard to protect the beautiful beaches and thank you for updating the gulf supporters as we plan our vacations! Can’t wait to celebrate the 4th of July on the beach with my family this year! Looking forward to good times, beautiful beaches, and amazing food! thank you PCB daily for all of your hard work 🙂


2 Dianne Hardin June 25, 2010 at 3:29 pm

We have reservations at Regency Towers the week of 8/21. I hope everything will still be okay by then, but my vacation is trivial compared to the devastation to the people and wildlife who call PCB their home.
It looks like everything possible is being done to preserve the beauty of the beach and surrounding area. I’m from Rome, Georgia, so we’re not too far away and our yearly trip to PCB is the highlight of my year!


3 Joy June 25, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Thank you for the very informative updates!! I have been viewing your site daily. We are from Nashville and having just gone through the floods we understand the importance of supporting local economy during rough times. We are continuing with our plans to PCB over the July 4th weekend and look forward to a wonderful vacation!!


4 Anna June 26, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Joy, we are also in Nashville and are due to leave July 10. And we have no plans of cancelling. I seriously need this vacation after dealing with the flooding. Hope your family and home survived the water here! What part of Nashville are you in? Have a good time and report back to us what the beaches are like!


5 Amory December 13, 2011 at 5:17 am

Your’s is the inteillgent approach to this issue.


6 uqafnwvmh December 13, 2011 at 2:17 pm
7 vyvckmdwsg December 15, 2011 at 5:51 am
8 Mark Smith June 26, 2010 at 6:38 am

My family and I are heading to PCB in mid July. OIL or not we love your town and cant wait to get there. I watch and read for all the latest and i am glad to see the upbeat honest reports instead of all the gloom and doom. It is a terrible thing but you guys are doing are great job. Keep up the good work,see you in 2 weeks


9 Brian June 26, 2010 at 9:05 am

I tried talking with some of the workers walking up and down the beach looking for oil. They don’t speak English. I tried to talk with 2 different groups, same thing. I doubt they are even legal to be working in Florida.


10 linda June 29, 2010 at 10:34 pm

There maybe some people out there that can’t speak English people working is legal and has been throuht classes for this job.There is danger in this job I’m just thankful that we have people that is willing to take on this job.Also the workers can’t talk to the public about what they are doing and what they have found.They will be fired on the spot!


11 Keri June 26, 2010 at 12:52 pm

We are looking forward to another great vacation at PCB this year. We will be coming in on July 25th at Reganct Towers. We live in Adairsville, Ga. We Thank you so much for all the hard work ya’ll are doing to keep PCB a beautiful place. We check this website everyday. Again Thank You


12 Keri June 26, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Sorry Regency Towers


13 Lashonda June 26, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Hi all, have been keeping myself updated via Louisiana through this very informative website. This is my family’s first vacation to PCB. In past years we have been going alittle further to Destun and Fort Walton but this year PC is in our view. We pray that everything will be worked out for all whom are affected and we hope to see this beautiful city in mid July.


14 Bryan June 27, 2010 at 9:10 am

First of all, I want to congratulate you guys and thank you for all the hard work you are doing to preserve the beautiful beaches and wildlife there. I am planning to be in PCB on July 12 and I can’t wait. I was wondering if you have noticed any bad smells associated with the oil mess? I feel that you guys are doing a great job and hope you don’t see much more impact. I read pcbdaily every day to keep up with the oil and I am praying for you guys. Keep up the good work and let me know about the smell and the oil on the beaches.
Bryan, Kentucky


15 linda June 29, 2010 at 10:45 pm

Hi Byran So far there is no bad smells.To bad you can’t be here for the 4 th the fire works here are awsome.


16 Joy June 27, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Anna, we live close to Franklin, but were very fortunately spared the brunt of the flooding. Wasn’t it awesome to see so many people support our city at the CMA Music Festival?? It was only a month after the floods and we had record attendance!! We need to support our neighbors in NW Florida in the same manner…


17 Anna June 27, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Joy, yes it was. But was more amazing to me were the people of Nashville that helped each other out! Strangers just going to someone’s house and helping with the cleanup. We live on Pennington Bend next to Opryland, our house was spared but the lower half of our neighborhood was under 6 ft of water. My parents also lost their house, so that has been a job! So, we are going to PCB regardless and I will much enjoy this vacation!


18 J Brown June 27, 2010 at 4:14 pm

PCB. Wow! What a great place. We just left today, Sunday, 6/27/2010.
The water was warm, light mist green, with a blue horizon. The waves were gentel. I never saw or felt white sand before. I’ts almost like baby powder.
NO Oil. No tar balls. Just clean white sand and happy people enjoying the full moon, bright sun and a surprise fireworks display on the beach Friday night. I guess it’s illegal, but it was so great.
Come on to the Gulf for they need you and your family to support them through this tragic time. We are all Americans and as one part of America is deminished, all of America suffers. We spent money & spread smiles. Ocala FL seniors Bob & Judy


19 KlassenfromTn June 27, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Leaving the 10th & hoping there is not a sign of oil or hurricane! But, my question is also of that in another post……. SMELL? anyone smell anything?


20 jobeibi June 28, 2010 at 8:01 am

Klassen, I haven’t noticed any smell at all, and haven’t heard of any complaints either. So far, the beaches are very clean and the water clear. There’s nothing out there to be smelled.

I can’t promise it’ll stay that way, but for now, we’re in good shape.


21 Brenda June 27, 2010 at 11:24 pm

will be in PCB in mid-august, hope the oil stays away. will you guys keeps the information coming about the oil spill will be driving about 61/2 hours to get there. thanks


22 mike&jeannieFSU1 June 28, 2010 at 12:55 am

Will be in PCB July 12-16 and Aug 14-21 come hell or high water…LOVE THIS PLACE!!!!


23 boughmk June 28, 2010 at 10:45 am

We are thinking about canceling a month vacation at the Moonspinner at the first of Sept. with oil sheens moving with the wind, it is impossible to know when they will hit the shore – probably for the next year or two. BP never should have drilled in deep water unless they were able to fix a problem like this. They should be able to rip a blowout preventer off of the ocean floor and plug it within days. If they can’t do that – they don’t drill. If I or you would have done such a rediculous thing, we would be in jail. Go after them for lost condo rentals – maybe MMS and the government too, for letting it happen. It’s a wonder that any of the top dogs have not just disappeared for what hell that they have caused. This is a CRIME. No care for the 11 lost lives and the lost lively-hoods that they caused.


24 linda June 29, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Hi boughmk, Please dont cancel just yet there are workers out there 24 hrs 7 days a week on our beaches.So don’t give up just yet.We need every to keep coming.


25 jamnolfin June 28, 2010 at 11:46 pm

Nothing smells like oil because there is no oil. The beaches are perfect, I have been out there all day fishing and at the beach. Our area is getting hurt over something that isnt even here.


26 Marie June 29, 2010 at 1:07 am

Our family has vacationed in the PCB area for over ten years. We all love it so much. However, as much as we would miss going this year, the thought of our kids swimming in the waters that have had all that chemical dumped in it is very scary. It is not just the oil that bothers me. I have done research on those chemicals, and it wasn’t good. Also, the oil can be picked up once it hits the beach, but what about what is in the water before it makes it to the sand? Our kids love playing in the surf and swimming underwater. They are in the water all day playing. That is why we vacation at the beach. It is just very scary as a parent.


27 linda June 29, 2010 at 11:20 pm

My G-children and I are in the water almost daily I thank you have nothing to be worried about.There is no chemical being dumped in our beaches here and if it was not safe the beaches would be closed.


28 beach guy June 29, 2010 at 9:12 am

Checked the surf report a few minutes ago, and its reporting tar balls here this morning,it didnt give details as to what area of the beach. When I get back from surfing, I will post if I actually see any .


29 Keith June 29, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Just got back from PCB on Sunday (27th). We stayed at the Wyndham Condos for 8 days. We didn’t see a single tar ball, and if not for the news, wouldn’t have even known anything was going on. We also went deep sea fishing at Captain Andersons. This was my first time doing this, and I (along with the kids) enjoyed it greatly. Again, no oil. Just dolphins following the boat and plenty of fish caught. PCB has always been a great vacation spot. Aside from a little sunburn, I have absolutely no complaints. Food was great, beach was clean, and everything seemed as it has been for the past 20+ years I’ve been going there.


30 linda June 29, 2010 at 11:30 pm

All the beaches from pcb to port st joe are just as beautiful today as they were a year ago.


31 darryl elkins July 5, 2010 at 3:12 pm

In Myrtle Beach, and I normally would be in PCB….I too am scrared of the chemicals that are being used in the clean up of oil spill. The gulf is a beautiful place…and I love it in PCB…I drive 9 hrs every year to be there…never a regret, it is the greatest beach in our nation period….but this year, I have no choice but to bow out…and believe me, I have not liked not being able to come and enjoy PCB’s great southern charm and beauty…The east coast beaches don’t make you want to get in the water, they are not nearly as inviting as the gulf….but don’t be fooled in to thinking that it is only the oil that you should be on the look out for….the disolvents are very harmful…they are not like a dish washing dtergant like BP would have you think that they are like… wary….just lay in the sand and enjoy americas most beautifl beaches and take a dip in the pool afterward to cool off….then you won’t have to worry about what you take home afer your vacation is long over….God Bless the people of this region…..and I look forward to returning to your beautiful town again soon. PS… I hope they re-build the one and only Treasure Ship….it is one of a kind!!!!!!!! Great Memories