Coast sees recovery, resilience in the wake of Hurricane Sally

Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 7:31 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - One week after Hurricane Sally slowly moved across Alabama’s Gulf Coast, the recovery is well underway. Both Orange Beach and Gulf Shores say power is available to 100 percent of structures that can receive it.

More than 1,700 structures were damaged in Orange Beach alone and Mayor Tony Kennon has set a 30 day countdown to get his city back to how it was before the storm.

“We want this place looking like nothing ever happened,” Kennon said.

Kennon isn’t just focused on the recovery in his city. Fort Morgan residents say he helped direct resources to their community as well.

“It’s just, that’s what we do. I mean, we had it. It was on the ground and they needed help. So why wouldn’t I help them?” the mayor said.

“It’s what we do out here, take care of each other,” added Joe Emmerson, the president of the Fort Morgan Civic Association. He estimates 90 percent of the homes there were damaged, including his.

Emmerson hasn’t slowed down long enough to determine how much he has lost. He’s been too busy helping others.

Fellow Fort Morgan resident Adam Williams and his wife have been feeding dozens of people each night since the storm passed.

“The sheriff’s that ride by, the linemen that ride by, anybody that rides by, any of the construction workers," Williams explained. "You know we stop and ‘hey, do you want water? Do you need food?’ Because all the restaurants are closed down here.”

All across Baldwin County, neighbors are helping neighbors providing relief and a sense of hope.

Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft says there are, “good folks that live here” and added "this is not our first rodeo. We’ve been through this before. And most of us that have lived here our whole life, you’ve been through it a lot.”

Mayor Craft says the Gulf Coast will bounce back stronger.

“We need to get our world back to normal.” Craft says normal is having visitors back on Alabama’s beaches. “Our small mom and pops, they need help we need people back.”

Guests can return to Alabama’s beaches Oct. 2.

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