Atlanta Weatherman in Hot Water Over Beach Closing Reports

Panama City, Florida is not real happy with an Atlanta Weatherman right now.

An  erroneous report by WSB Chief Meteorologist Glenn Burns have threatened to derail what was a promising July 4th tourism weekend in the Florida Panhandle. 

Burns took to the airwaves yesterday, telling viewers that the National Weather Service had issued “No Swim Advisories” for beaches in Okaloosa and Walton Counties. 

Wait?! What? The National Weather Service does not issue "No Swim Advisories".

But burns went on, delivering  the report while standing in front of a map of the two counties, completely colored in red.  Burns went on the say there were, “really toxic levels of fecal bacteria”, as well as, “toxic levels of blue-green algae.”  He continued, saying it is, “very dangerous to swim in these waters.  They call this the, kind of, flesh-eating bacteria.”  

The reports set off a barrage of phone calls and emails from people wanting to know why local media and health officials were not reporting the beaches being “closed.”  Several condominium owners reported cancelations for the weekend. 

The situation prompted a response from the Bay County Tourist Development Council.  The statement from spokesperson David Demarest read, “As the front desks at the Visitor Center and the Chamber is aware, there is a story going around that's causing some confusion. The end point should be that this does not apply to Panama City Beach, and monitoring shows that our beaches and water are in good condition.”

Of course, the first rule of TV news, never let the facts get in the way of a good story.