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Pensacola Beach Recovers From Big Crowds And A Big Storm

Bob Barrett


On Tuesday morning Chris Carter was loading the metal skeleton of a pop up beach tent onto the trailer of his truck. The Gulf Breeze resident says things looked a lot different over the weekend. "Over the weekend it looked like a catastrophe. There were these pop-up tents and tents and air mattresses and floats. The storms came through...Sunday morning and everyone left in a panic and the beach was in disarray."

Credit Bob Barrett / WUWF News
Jessica from Pensacola Beach helps clear debris from the beach and dunes at Park East

Over on the beach, some young people were picking up trash along the sand and in the dunes. Jessica, from Pensacola Beach says "I'm actually finding a lot of glass bottles, and that should have been nipped in the bud by someone walking around and making sure  that there wasn't glass out here." She also says she's picked up a lot of cigarette butts which can be harmful for sea turtles.  Jessica also says she's picking up "some condom wrappers (so) I'm glad everyone's having safe sex."

One of the big issues over the weekend was that strong storm that hit the beach on Sunday. Buck Lee, Executive Director of the Santa Rosa Island Authority, says the storm hit the beach Sunday morning. "Some people that had tents set up, the frames were there but the tents were gone". He also said trash in paper bags blew around the beach after the wind and water destroyed the bags. 

Lee also says that lifeguards on the beach reported no emergencies. "We were very fortunate. Friday was like a lake out here, it was great. And then Saturday we had to go to yellow (flags) and then Sunday it was red (flags). And really no problems, everybody obeyed (and stayed) out of the gulf."

Chris Carter of Gulf Breeze loads aluminum tent frames onto his truck at Park East Tuesday morning.

The beach at Park East was pretty much back to normal early Tuesday morning.  Over at Park West a nonprofit group called Get Involved Pensacola held a volunteer beach clean-up.

The next big weekends on the beach are the fourth of July…and the annual Pensacola Beach Air Show July 10 and 11 . 

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.