What has seemed like a doomed year from the get-go, was only proven as the tropics started to boil in the Atlantic. Home to the Barrier Island, and the Seafood Capital of Alabama, SoMo was in Mother Nature’s eyesight, and since 2004, no hurricane has made landfall in the State of Alabama, leaving many people believing it was due time.
With the whole world playing chess with a novel pandemic, the last thing SoMo needed was a heavy hurricane season… Early June, South Mobile County began to experience the pressure as Tropical Storm Cristobal passed through town, leaving the far West End of Dauphin Island shredded with new sand bars and cuts, and much of Bienville Boulevard down on the West End covered in sand.
The powerful storm immediately put West End access out of commission and heavy machinery worked tirelessly to clear up Bienville Blvd. A couple dodges later, and some odd weeks later Hurricane Laura crept into the Gulf, stalling much of the Coast as if they needed to prepare for a Category 4 landfall or not. Laura eventually made landfall around Cameron, Louisiana but Dauphin Island certainly felt the impact as weather bands and rip currents slapped the Island. Two fortunate situations of course, as things could have been far worse, but the season wasn’t over.
The morning of September 16th was a morning many would like to forget, as Hurricane Sally, a Category 2 storm, pushed through SoMo’s backyard and made landfall with the neighbors across the bay. Not many people respected Sally and with a lack of emergency, the storm left an estimated total of $5 billion in damages. Dauphin Island’s prized Marina was shredded to pieces and iconic boats were lost forever. The West End was again put under massive amounts of sand, and mild flooding dotted the Island. SoMo was hurting, and the Gulf Coast was hurting, but the community was more together than it ever was.
David Rice, a homeowner and a shipyard operations manager on the Island said “Through social media and live interaction, people were reaching out, helping clean up, and producing meals. The Island was amazing. I never felt more like I was part of a community than after the storm.” SoMo’s resiliency and the strength of the Gulf Coast have led us through improbable times. Economic stress, human illness, and Earth’s greatest storms are just the starting points.
Visiting South Mobile County is one thing, but experiencing the culture and community is life-changing. Built on the adventure, SoMo will never bow down to hard times but only come back stronger.