Residents along the coast, devastated by Hurricane Sally continue to await any word of assistance headed their way. Meanwhile, Governor Kay Ivy toured the disaster area by air Friday, September 18, 2020. After the tour, she met with elected officials and the media for a briefing on what she saw.
That meeting was at the Lodge at Gulf State Park, one of the few park areas that made it through the storm with minimal damage. With the newly renovated and now destroyed Gulf State Park Fishing Pier as a backdrop, Governor Ivy talked about what she saw. Fox 10 News drone footage from the affected coastline and rivers shows images similar to what Ivy saw during her helicopter tour. Some damage, worse than other but hardly a piece of property where Sally didn’t leave her mark.
“It’s really bad,” Ivy exclaimed. “I’m sure it could be worse but what I’ve seen this morning in the fly over…Gulf Shores and Orange Beach and Fort Morgan…it’s really, really bad.”
Ivy said during her flight she only saw a couple piers or docks that weren’t damaged significantly. She said her mission Friday was to listen to local leaders and hear what the immediate needs are. Ivy encouraged those needing help to stay positive and to know they’re not alone.
“If nothing else people, please hear this message. The people of Alabama are praying for you. They’re truly praying for you so remember that you’re not alone,” Ivy said. “We stand ready to support you and I know that I’m not the only one affected by Hurricane Sally but we stand ready to support you and not only will we rebuild, but we will rebuild stronger than ever before.”
For now, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach residents need the very basics…ice, water and food. Ivy said with the assistance of Congressman Bradley Byrne, those items were pre-staged in Dallas County and will soon be making their way to the coast.
“It’s been pre-positioned at an old Air Force base in Selma by FEMA before the storm so the idea was it was far enough away where that area wouldn’t be affected and then that would make it easier for them to bring it down here but the local officials have to decide where they want it and then communicate to the public,” Byrne explained.
Congressman Byrne said he spoke with White House staff and FEMA Friday and is working with the governor on getting federal relief headed our way. He also said he thinks President Trump will try and visit. As for short-term relief, Ivy said local officials are working on a plan right now to set up distribution points for food. Ice and water in the coming days.