PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The beaches in Bay County are one of the driving forces in our tourism industry, but how did they fare against Hurricane Michael?
According to Beach Consultant for the Tourist Development Council, Lisa Armbruster, Panama City Beach had a loss of about 600,000 cubic yards of sand.
Armbruster said while that is a loss, it's not a huge one.
The storm surge did go all the way up to the dunes but it stayed under five feet, so those dunes were able to protect the land.
Mexico Beach, on the other hand, has more work with getting back to being tourist-ready.
Armbruster says an estimated 1-1.5 million cubic yards of sand will be needed to bring the beach and dunes back up to a protective state.
The full three miles of beach will need renourishment.
"The beach there, a lot of the dunes were overwashed and knocked down so they obviously took the brunt of the storm. We are actually starting design and permitting for a beach renourishment restoration project there in to recover from Hurricane Michael so we've started that process," said Armbruster.
That process could take $20 to $25 million for a full renourishment.
Tourist Development Council officials say the most important step will be finding the funding to actually construct the project, and a timeline isn't developed yet.