PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB-TV) – This year brought more active weather to the Florida Panhandle and the Gulf Coast, including severe storms producing damage, extensive rainfall with flooding, tropical storms, major hurricane and attacking alligators. While there were big weather headlines, there were also stories of hope and survival from areas devastated by natural disasters.
News 13 has compiled the most viewed weather-related stories of the year on mypanhandle.com. Severe weather that occurred in early April brought the most views overall to the website. A waterspout came onshore in Panama City Beach causing damage and winds reaching 70 mph in other areas of northwest Florida, knocking out power, turning semi-trucks on their sides, and destroying some structures, too. The linked story below shows the devastation of post-storms and a video of the waterspout.
The Florida Panhandle was impacted by a few tropical systems, including: Tropical Storm Claudette (indirect impacts), Hurricane Elsa (indirect impacts), Tropical Storm Fred, Hurricane Ida (indirect impacts), Tropical Storm Ida, and Tropical Storm Mindy.
Of the aforementioned storm systems, three had direct impacts on the Florida Panhandle. Hurricane Elsa made landfall in the Big Bend area of the Panhandle as a tropical storm on July 8. Tropical Storm Fred also made landfall in Cape San Blas on August 16. Tropical Storm Mindy was named late, at almost landfall, in Franklin County on September 8.
Hurricane Ida was one of the strongest, deadliest, and most destructive hurricanes of the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane season. At landfall, it was a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds at 150 mph. It is the second-most damaging and intense hurricane to make landfall in the state of Louisiana on record, falling behind Hurricane Katrina in 2006. Its wind speeds tied that of 2020’s Hurricane Laura, and it is tied as the strongest on record in the state with the 1856 Last Island hurricane.
Ida had impacts on the Panhandle resulting in heavy rainfall, flooding, dangerous currents and more. The dangerous hurricane created incredible destruction along the Gulf Coast, most severe in Louisiana. People were uprooted and so were wildlife. So much so that a Louisiana man was attacked by an alligator during the system’s intense flooding across the region.
Here’s the full list of the most viewed weather-related stories of 2021 on mypanhandle.com: