Alabama Gulf Coast watching as hurricane season starts

Published: Jun. 1, 2021 at 7:18 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - It’s the first day of Hurricane Season and the National Hurricane Center is expecting another active season.

The Hurricane Center is expecting another above average the hurricane season with possibly six to 10 hurricanes, and at least three of them potentially reaching a category three. Last year was a record with 30 named storms. Hurricane Sally hit the Alabama gulf coast and caused a lot of damage.

The first day of Hurricane season is something the mayors of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach watch carefully.

“Anxious because the probability is that these things are coming back with a vengeance,” said Gulf Shores Mayor, Robert Craft.

Down in Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon said it’s something they have trained their first responders for every year.

“I’ve learned not to worry about things we can’t control but we prepared for it. People have heard me say this before having gone through the BP Oil spill. Hurricanes are a piece of cake,” Kennon said.

The Alabama gulf coast beaches are open again after COVID-19 shut down the beaches from much of last year. Mayor Kennon said they are still in the recovery mode from the storms last year.

“The one area we are still trying to catch up to is our marina side. The piers are not built back yet. It’s still slow dealing with the Corp of Engineers and other federal agencies but we are getting there,” Kennon said.

In Gulf Shores tourist can also see the recovery work underway.

“We still have a lot of blue tarps in the area. A lot of roof issues. Fortunately a lot of the debris has been picked up,” Craft said.

Kennon said some homeowners have gotten help from their insurance company, while others have had to get attorneys and fight for financial help. Homes that were totally destroyed are now being rebuilt.

Despite the weather threats last year and dealing with COVID, the mayors are optimistic about the upcoming tourist season.

“They are bent up. They are tired of this nonsense. They love Alabama. We have folks from all over the country. They get back down here and life is normal again,” Kennon said.

Mayor Craft said they are back up and running. Craft said about 25% of their rental space is still under repair.

Both cities reported big turnouts for Memorial Day Holiday weekend and have big hopes for the summer.

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