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Bay County locals and officials prep for Hurricane Zeta

Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 9:18 PM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -

Hurricane season isn’t over yet.

Now Hurricane Zeta is headed into the Gulf, making Bay County residents nervous.

“When they form in the Caribbean, it gets our attention, especially in the Marina business," Pirates Cove Marina Director Jim Hamilton said.

It was just in September Hurricane Sally flooded the docks at Pirates Cove Marina in Panama City Beach.

“Our docks really took a beating here. We lost a lot of our plumbing and electrical had to be repaired," Hamilton said.

Just as before, Hamilton isn’t taking any chances.

“We get all of the boats out of the water. We try to tie down everything that’s loose. We don’t leave anything on the dock and just hope and pray we get through it," Hamilton said.

Although the area may not see the direct impacts of Zeta, many remember what happened during Hurricane Sally. Any amount of consistent rain will cause flooding and road closures.

City officials say street maintenance teams will begin setting up barricades in low-lying areas among other preparations.

“We’re checking inlets to make sure they’re free of debris and removing any debris to eliminate an impediment to storm water flow," Panama City Assistant City Manager Jared Jones said.

Jones also said sandbag stations will be set up at the 19th Street location of the Boys and Girls Club on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Bay County emergency management doing the same.

“We will close our COVID testing site in Lynn Haven on Wednesday and we will also close the FEMA individual assistance site that we have set up in Lynn Haven," Bay County Emergency Management Division Chief Frankie Lumm said.

Officials also said more decisions will be made Tuesday.

“We’ll look at it at that point to see if we need to close schools, open the shelter, get a curfew, any of that kind of stuff," Lumm said. "We’ll make that determination [Tuesday] with the executive policy group.”

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