PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — As piles of snow and freezing temperatures continue to affect much of the country, many retirees have arrived to call Panama City Beach home for the next couple of months.

Snowbird season is back here in the panhandle and folks from all over the north come down to Florida to escape the wicked winters.

Gordon Carruth and his wife Nicole Gagnon are from Quebec. They have been riding out winters in Panama City Beach since 1997.

“We love it here,” Carruth said. “We have always stayed in a condo along Thomas Drive and right now we’re staying in Sterling Beach, which is a magnificent condo, and we just love it. We have dear friends here that we’ve developed over the years and we won’t go any place else. We’ve traveled all around the world, but we make sure we come down here every year.”

Gagnon said they picked Panama City Beach after she came down here to work at Tyndall Air Force Base for a time.

“I went for a walk on the beach, and I literally fell in love with the color of the water, the color of the sand, and the people that I met and so I told my husband, that’s where we’re going and ever since then, we’ve been coming down here and meeting more friends and so on, Gagnon said. “So it’s like home away from home to us.”

Like many others, the couple hopes to continue to spend their winters in Bay County for as long as they can.