Tar balls from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill have washed ashore on the sugar-sand beaches of Panama City Beach, the farthest east oil has been reported in Florida.
Bay County spokeswoman Valerie Lovett said Saturday that "nickel to 50-cent piece size" tar balls washed ashore on Panama City Beach overnight. She says BP and county workers are combing the beaches to clean up any tar balls or patches of oil that might wash up.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the Panhandle could experience more effects from the spill this weekend due to onshore winds. Passes to the gulf are being closed at night throughout the region to prevent oil from getting into inland waters with rising tides.