Red Tide Outbreak Now Extends Throughout Panhandle

A red tide outbreak that began last month in southwest Florida has made its way completely across the state's Gulf Coast to the western end of the Panhandle.

Fish kills and respiratory problems for humans have been reported at Pensacola Beach, a barrier island community. The reports are telltale signs of the toxic algae.

Pensacola Beach water safety supervisor David Greenwood says he felt the effects when he waded into the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday.

Shelley Alexander is the aquatic preserve manager for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. She says this is the first significant red tide outbreak in the Pensacola area since 1998.

She says testing will continue this week to monitor the bloom.

The red tide first showed up at Panama City Beach two weeks ago and last week it had moved westward through Walton County. The latest reports now put it all the way to the Alabama-Florida state line