Tar Balls and Light Sheen Loom off Panama City Beach

By: Erica Rakow Email
By: Erica Rakow Email

Panama City Beach -- Sunday, a day after the first big wave of tar balls washed ashore in Bay County, the U.S. Coast Guard shows us what's still offshore and will most likely, continue to come up.

After 62 days of oil spilling into the Gulf, remnants are slowly drifting further and further east down the coast. It's now made it's way to Panama City Beach.

With several tar balls washing up Saturday, hundreds more float offshore. About seven and a half miles off the coast of Panama Cirty Beach we’re seeing small tar balls floating on the surface as well as a jelly like substance.

The Coast Guard says the wind and weather makes it challenging to monitor the affected waters. Saturday it was about two miles off the beach but then northerly winds Saturday night pushed it back out seven and a half miles.

Bay County Emergency Director, Mark Bowen says there's not enough product out there to successfully skim it.

For now, the pass remains open but wet-staged boom is in place and ready to be deployed. Bowen says they don't want to restrict any more recreational or commerce activities until they absolutely have to. He adds they don't want to close it too soon and they certainly are not going to do it too late.


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