ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WKRG) — Hurricane Sally made landfall in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020.
“Sally came in, and just sat here,” recalls Orange Beach resident Margaret Long. “Put the 29 inches of rain on us and just hammered us.”
A slow-motion disaster that would leave people like Scott Crider in Gulf Shores wishing he had never stayed to weather the storm.
“Screaming wind, we could hear trees cracking everywhere, stuff hitting the house, pretty terrifying.”Scott Crider
Bad doesn’t even begin to describe what Sally left in Long’s yard. Almost a dozen charter boats sat in her yard after the storm but not before taking out her deck and barely missing her house. A year later, she is still waiting on repairs to be finished but, she has her yard back. “Unbelievable the boats,” she says.
Boats, piers, boat lifts and everything else it seemed were scattered everywhere. Major highways once cluttered with huge pleasure boats now look as though nothing ever happened.
Marinas that were destroyed are rebuilt but still with more work to do. “We laid 26,00 12×6’s here, about 16,000 2×10’s, 1,800 pounds of screws, rebuilt a lot of docks and pilings,” said Randy Boggs owner of San Roc Cay Marina. “We’re back up and running.”
Away from the coast, the scars of Hurricane Sally are easy to find. In Foley, a whole housing community is still covered in now-tattered blue tarps. The tree loss was massive. They fell on just about everything — houses, cars, power lines. It would take most of the year to remove all the tree damage, and utility work continues.
“An act of nature I’ve never seen before. I hope I never see again,” Boggs said.
Hurricane Sally will be remembered for a lot of things. A year later, the most obvious damage has been cleared — until the next storm.
Sally was both destructive and deadly. At least three people were killed during the storm in Alabama. It was the first hurricane to make landfall in Alabama since Hurricane Ivan on the same day in 2004.