Panama City Beach ‘overwhelmed’ by July 4 trash

This March 30, 2012 photo shows the beach at St. Andrews State Park in Panama City, Fla. Two years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, tourism in the Gulf Coast is strong, but the region’s many state parks offer serene, pristine beaches alongside bustling vacation spots like Panama City. (AP Photo/ Beth Harpaz)
This March 30, 2012 photo shows the beach at St. Andrews State Park in Panama City, Fla. Two years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, tourism in the Gulf Coast is strong, but the region’s many state parks offer serene, pristine beaches alongside bustling vacation spots like Panama City. (AP Photo/ Beth Harpaz)

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (AP) – The July 4th holiday weekend drew some 250,000 tourists to Panama City Beach. Now officials are left to clean up after them.

The News Herald of Panama City reports tourists left about 88 tons of trash and 10 truckloads of abandoned tents on the beach following the holiday weekend.

Bay County Tourist Development Council Director Dan Rowe says the system was “overwhelmed.” He says the agency spends some $700,000 annually for beach cleanup.

Officials say crews faced challenges with the large crowds and a restricted clean-up time due to turtle nesting season.

And the county landfill was closed over the holiday weekend, forcing contractors to haul the trash further away to an incinerator.

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Information from: The (Panama City, Fla.) News Herald, http://www.newsherald.com

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