Double red flags still flying after Tropical Storm Barry

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Double red flags still flying in the Gulf this weekend, as dangerous rip currents are bringing large waves and high tide.

Beach Patrol employee and long-time Panama City Beach resident Mark “Sandman” Myhra is trying to keep people safe during these conditions. He has been patrolling the beach for over 23 years.

“Double red flags, I mean I don’t understand after all these years why people will take their kids in the water,” said Myhra. “It scares me more than anything.”

He says this weekend is the worst he’s seen the water since Hurricane Michael.

“The sandbars are getting totally destroyed,” said Myhra. “The depth of the beach has dropped another two feet.”

He says when the depth in the beach drops, it causes erosion. Erosion lowers the beach level, allowing water to rush quicker and faster onto the beaches.

“There was some minor erosion out here,” said Myhra. “I’m still waiting to see what kind of shape the sandbars are going to be in. Those basically determine what the rip currents are going to do.”

He is trying his best to keep people out of the water during these conditions.

“Am I going to let anyone drown?” said Myhra. “Absolutely not. But prevention is the key. Prevention saves lives and if people don’t go in, to begin with, they are not going to get in any trouble.”

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