Gulf State Park Pier suffers major damage from Sally

Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk and MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrews conducting critical incident search and rescue overflights of the areas impacted by Hurricane Sally in GulfPort, Mississippi, Sept. 16, 2020. Overflights allow units to assess the situation so that they conduct rescue operations as needed. (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo)

GULF SHORES, Ala. (WALA) -- Just days before it was scheduled to reopen to the public after a major renovation, the Gulf State Park Pier now sits in shambles.

A photograph from a Coast Guard helicopter crew shows the pier missing several sections near its end.

Crews were putting the finishing touches on the $2.4 million project to restore and improve the pier.

The popular Gulf Coast landmark has been closed since Mother’s Day weekend while all of the wood on the pier was replaced, and a second deck was built at the end.

It was scheduled to have its ribbon-cutting before the end of the month.

The pier was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan on the same date 16 years ago: September 16, 2004.

It was rebuilt and reopened five years later in 2009.

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