If we couldn’t laugh, we would probably cry.
Maybe you saw that social media meme that was making the rounds several weeks ago – especially if you have Facebook friends from our part of the country: “I would like to cancel my subscription to the hurricane of the month club, please?”
On September 16, 2020, Hurricane Sally slowly moved ashore in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach hitting our area as an extremely strong, extremely slow-moving storm. Oddly, for about three days, Sally barely moved faster than a turtle. At landfall, Sally was only moving at 2 mph; sea turtles as well as the average human can do around 3-4 mph.
Certainly the intensity caused the damage, but Sally’s slow moving nature continued to pummel the area when other faster-moving storms would have come and gone in a shorter time frame. Ironically, Hurricane Sally made landfall exactly 16 years to the day nearly the same hour as when Hurricane Ivan made landfall in 2004. Same date – and, same location: Gulf Shores, Alabama. (Source: CNN)
Looking back over the challenges, we feel incredibly thankful to be part of a community that picks each other up and jumps into action. People were helping their neighbors without question or hesitation. The way we pull together in crisis reveals volumes about the character of a community and the people that live here.
The Impact of Hurricane Zeta
Then, just a little over a month later, another hurricane made landfall close enough to Gulf Shores to send a scare through the area once again. Zeta, the record-tying sixth hurricane to make landfall in the United States and the record fifth named storm to strike Louisiana, made landfall on October 28 near the town of Cocodrie.
Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism reports that Gulf Shores and Orange Beach did not suffer any major damage from Hurricane Zeta. All main roads are open, and residents and visitors are asked to be mindful of utility workers, as first responders and crews still cleaning up debris from Hurricane Sally.
The sight of bulldozers on our beaches was a regular occurrence. We read that 15,000 yards of sand had to be moved in the wake of Sally in an effort to rebuild our damaged beaches. Overall, beach berms saved many beach areas from erosion and they fared reasonably well. Many re-opened to the public in the early days of October.
Our community has pulled together to clean-up and rebuild better and brighter than before. The Powell team continues to be a resource in the area for relocation and rental ideas. We are officially calling all snowbirds to spend winter’s chilliest days here in the place we call home – Gulf Shores, Alabama.