GULF SHORES, Ala. (WKRG) – Double red flags are flying up and down the Baldwin County coast Friday, a sight likely repeated throughout the weekend as Gulf waters begin to churn.
“People need to understand that this is so quick that it can change in a matter of moments. This can go bad for all of us,” said Grant Brown with the City of Gulf Shores.
City leaders are asking residents and visitors to prepare now for tropical impacts this weekend. Even with Hurricane Ida making landfall to the west of Baldwin County the area could still see problems.
“Rip currents are going to be a major factor. When you get as much forward motion of the water coming ashore it’s got to go back out into the Gulf and that’s what causes rip currents,” said Brown.
Coastal flooding is also a big concern this weekend. City leaders are urging residents to clear ditches so water can flow freely.
“I love it. I just like the see the waves. Me and my girlfriend just decided to come for the day and the rain quit so we’re going to sit on the beach for a little while. It’s actually not bad,” said Tracey Goens who is visiting Gulf Shores on Friday.
Goens says she is not too concerned about what Ida could bring to the Alabama coast, but she says she’s paying close attention in case that changes.
“I like to see Mother Nature. To me it’s just kind of fascinating,” she added.
Crews have already removed lifeguard stands from the beach in case of storm surge. Some roadways are barricaded in advance of coastal flooding.
Sandbags are available to residents at the Gulf Shores Sportsplex.