PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — As damage continues to be seen across the Panhandle, the West end of Panama City Beach was also one of the areas hard hit by the likely tornado Saturday morning.
Damage to roofs, windows, and beach chairs is just some of what can be seen here.
Vacationers on the west end of the beach say they first woke up to the sound of strong winds blowing by their units.
“We were asleep in our condo, and the next thing we know, the wind is just whistling through the seals. We walk out to the beach and we see the tornado out on the water. Half a mile up the road it even crossed the street and hit a convenience store and the restaurant nearby,” said Ben Selby, a vacationer.
The damages range from ripped off roofs to flipped over campers.
“Actually at our condominium right across the street, the roof got ripped off one of the buildings, so there’s a big old gap and water is going through the ceiling. It’s been crazy,” said Selby. “Driving the backroads to our destinations, there’s fences torn down, cars beat up. We saw an RV flipped over right up the road.”
Long time Panama City Beach residents say they feel the recent weather has been unusual for the area.
“I have been here a long time and I really honestly can’t remember two water spouts, so to speak, come ashore within six weeks of each other. I mean they’re still repairing damage here where I live from the one on February 15th.” said Mark Myhra, a resident.
Beach Safety Director Wil Spivey is warning beachgoers against getting in the water after Saturday’s severe weather.
“We constantly evaluate it, every morning and throughout the day. According to the forecast though, I don’t see us downgrading them before Monday,” said Spivey.
Beach equipment can also be seen scattered across the white sands.
“A lot of the chairs and huts and banana boats are up in the sand dunes so they got hit pretty good with that wind this (Saturday) morning,” said Spivey.
Beach rescue officials say there haven’t been any rescues or drowning so far and they’re hoping it stays that way.