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Byline: JOE FOLLICK CAPITAL BUREAU
PENSACOLA -- Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key were swamped by Hurricane Katrina's storm surge Monday morning as gusts of more than 60 mph buried roads in sand and pushed Escambia Bay water into Pensacola's downtown.
But when judged against the lingering damage inflicted by Hurricane Ivan last year and Dennis in July, officials in Florida's westernmost county were almost giddy with the relatively gentle aftermath of Katrina.
"We didn't take near the beating our friends in the west did," said Escambia County Administrator George Touart. "We absolutely dodged a terrible bullet."
Tropical storm-force winds persisted in the western Panhandle for much of Monday. A power outage closed a sewage treatment plant downtown, sending untreated sewage popping through manhole covers. Trees were downed, and branches and trash skittered on nearly every road. …