Friday, January 14, 2005

Tonight we find ourselves in yet another Wal-Mart, this time in Foley, Alabama. Once again, we had high hopes of a nice park along the coast, however, much to our horror, the coast here has been destroyed, and all parks and campgrounds are closed.

Hurricane Ivan came ashore in the western Florida panhandle and the gulf coast of Alabama a full four months ago, on September 16th, 2004. The areas we passed through today still look like a war zone. In one stretch of beach straddling the FL/AL state line, we drove for several miles without seeing a single building (of hundreds) in habitable condition. Many smaller structures are awaiting nothing short of bulldozers to clear them away, as they are completely unsalvagable. I was shocked at how much devastation remains even after four months.

In any case, the four or so gulf shore parks along today's route are closed indefinitely due to the damage. Some of the rangers with whom we spoke allowed that they hoped to have things in shape for the beginning of the summer season. We saw many RVs along the coast, but, sadly, they belong to the residents of uninhabitable buildings and the thousands of contractors in the area to rebuild them. We opted to continue beyond the ravaged areas to this small town somewhat inland, where many businesses have reopened. Tomorrow, we will continue west through Mobile. (We had hoped to stick to the barrier island route, but the Mobile bay ferry was one of the casualties of Ivan and is also closed indefinitely.)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share your comments on this post! We currently allow anyone to comment without registering. If you choose to use the "anonymous" option, please add your name or nickname to the bottom of your comment, within the main comment box. Getting feedback signed simply "anonymous" is kind of like having strangers shout things at us on the street: a bit disconcerting. Thanks!