PICTURES: Tarballs Make Landfall in Panama City Beach Over Weekend

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by June 21, 2010 • 56 comments

As the oil plume moved more to the east late last week, we began to see some landfall of tarballs Friday and over the weekend.  Saturday morning, reports of tarballs and an oiled bird were made in Carillon Beach on the west end of Panama City Beach.  Today, there are a  slew of them scattered on the west end of Panama City Beach.  The only way I could describe it will make it sound like there is oil everywhere, which isn’t true.  It’s best for me to show you pictures and describe what I’m seeing.  Here we go:

All the little black spots are tarballs.  Most of what I saw were smaller than a dime and scattered just like this.  It almost looks like someone just slung a paint brush.


Crews were onsite cleaning up already.  They were walking up the beach with gloves and a plastic bag.


This is June grass.  Many have reported this as being tarballs.  This is not oil-related, but a natural occurrence for Panama City Beach every year.


In this image, you can see how scattered they are.  There are tons of them in this one picture, and probably hundreds up and down the beach in this area, but they are very scattered, small and in thin concentrations.  They were only on the shoreline.  They are very consistent in texture and quite solid.  I was able to pick one up and it stayed in tact.  It was cloudy, but in the sun they become more liquefied.


This was amongst the larger of the tarballs I found.  This is a standard Javelin pen, very common for promotional use.  There have been larger reported, but this was the biggest I saw.


You can see how scattered they are with the workers in frame.  Looking to the right, there are no tarballs.  They are only as far as the water is washing them.


Here are all the pictures we took.

If you want live information, we’re at the beach every day.

Each week we are shooting videos of the beach showing the current conditions of the water.  Here are the places you can find video of the beach.  (NOTE: Go to our Facebook page and click the “Like” button to be notified of any updates as they come available.

Here are some great resource links.

Here are some additional webcam feeds that our friends at Tripsmarter have been kind enough to allow us to link to.

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