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Flood damage may impact tourist season
PENSACOLA BEACH - This time of year tourists are usually flocking to our local beaches, but recent storm damage like a washed out Scenic Highway or buildings partially underwater could hurt the perception of the area.
Images of flooded homes and washed out roads not only filled local newscasts, they were seen by people across the country. Visitors like Rachel Suiter had plans to visit Pensacola Beach, but the storm's impact was worrying.
"I didn't know what parts of Pensacola were flooded out, from what you saw on the news, you knew there were massive sinkholes" said Rachel Suiter, visitor from Mobile, AL.
To Rachel's delight, Pensacola Beach weathered the storm fairly well.
"There were a couple of people from out of town at my hotel that were like Oh my goodness, I'm so glad we came anyway because everything is still open" said Suiter.
Point South Vacation Rentals received numerous phone calls from people worried about their travel plans but in the end, the rental company reports only one condo cancelation.
Social media proved vital to keeping concerned tourist planning to visit updated.
At Visit Pensacola, the webcam feature on their beach website also proved useful.
"The top places people were looking were actually the webcams which visually shows what's happening in the community" said Steve Hayes, Visit Pensacola President.
Steve Hayes, President of Visit Pensacola feels the cold winter and active spring storm season have potential tourist thirsting for our local beaches.
He's glad the unforgettable rain storm hasn't stopped tourist from coming to visit.