BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — Six months ago, Hurricane Sally slammed our part of the Gulf Coast with rain and unrelenting wind for hours on end. Six months later there has been remarkable progress in the recovery, but there is still work to do.
The beaches are filling up again, the waters of the Gulf inviting and memories of Hurricane Sally are starting to fade, “We’re starting to see what is normal like now.” But the memories are still there, “We know where the scars are and we know how it felt,” says Orange Beach city administrator Ken Grimes.
The charter boat industry devastated by the storm is starting to make a comeback after a lot of work.
“We’ve laid 12,000 2x6x12 foot long, 4,000 2×10’s. Lumber prices quadrupled, electrical supplies are hard to come by, recovery has been a long hard process.”
Tourists who watched the devastation from a distance are coming back too. “We saw the footage,” says Mike Frost down from Cedar Falls, Iowa. “We saw the condos and all the repairs that were going on. We watched that closely because we knew we were coming down but to see that much change as far as you come, its been very impressive.”
There are still tarps over roofs, cranes dot the skyline helping in the recovery. Forty percent of rental properties are still dealing with damage but six months out, 95 percent of the businesses are open according to tourism officials. “Hopefully people will see spirits are up and the businesses are open and ready for people,” says Grimes.
Now sights are set on continued recovery efforts and a strong summer season.