GULF SHORES, Ala. (WALA) - The City of Gulf shores has declared a local state of emergency following Governor Kay Ivey's declaration due to Hurricane Delta's imminent threat to the local area.
Officials say Hurricane Delta continues to strengthen rapidly and is now a Category 4 storm. While some weakening is possible before landfall, a significant and dangerous hurricane is expected to impact the northern Gulf Coast and local-surrounding areas as early as Friday morning.
It is important to note that even if the storm makes landfall well to the west, the Gulf Shores area will still see a threat of storm surge, dangerous surf/rip currents, heavy rain, isolated tornadoes, and the potential for tropical-storm-force winds.
Residents are asked to STOP bringing any additional debris to the roadside in order to protect personal property and surrounding property. Concentrated piles of debris present a higher risk of being picked up by heavy winds.
Any hazardous materials that are currently placed at the road should be brought back inside to garages or other storage areas. City crews will not pick them up in preparation for Hurricane Delta.
City crews are working extra hours this week to collect as much storm debris as possible in anticipation of potential impacts from Hurricane Delta. If possible, residents are asked to clean out the culverts and ditches located at the base of driveways as much as possible to allow water to flow through.
Residents living in low-lying areas that experienced flooding during Hurricane Sally, or those with homes that are currently compromised, should make plans to seek shelter or evacuate from this storm. Due to the lack of shelters available in Baldwin County and the current COVID-19 regulations in place, residents should be prepared to plan far enough ahead to find a safe location. Do not rely on the shelter of last resort.
Sand is still available for residents at the Gulf Shores Sportsplex, located at 19025 Oak Road West. Sandbags and shovels will not be provided but can be purchased at local hardware and home improvement stores.
HURRICANE RE-ENTRY PASSES
Residents are asked to make sure they have a current Hurricane Re-entry Pass. If an evacuation is ordered, a pass will be required to enter restricted areas. Per City of Gulf Shores Resolution 5642-16, once a Hurricane Warning has been issued for the Gulf Shores area, re-entry/beach parking passes are no longer distributed to any residents, businesses or other entities. Passes are available for pickup at both City Hall and the Gulf Shores City Store during regular business hours.
BOATS & WATER VESSELS
All boats and water vessels should be removed from the water to prevent possible damage or loss of vessel. The boat launches at Mo’s Landing and the Canal Park are now open for vessel removal only.
Residents should continue making all necessary storm preparations. See the following storm preparedness tips.
• Stay Weather Alert - Pay extra attention to local weather reports until the storm has moved through the area. Be sure to keep your weather radio on and your cell phone charged to ensure you can receive weather alerts.
• Know Your Elevation – You must know your elevation to understand if your location will be impacted by storm surge. Find your elevation online at https://viewer.nationalmap.gov/advanced-viewer/.
• Gather Information – Keep a list of local emergency contact information. Find contact information at www.gulfshoresal.gov/resourcedirectory.
• Plan and Take Action – Be sure to have a safety plan in place for you and your family. This includes planning for essential medications, contact information, food, water and pets.
• The First 72 Are On You - Shelters are not available during the first 72 hours after a storm passes, and residents should plan accordingly. Prepare by creating disaster kits that contain enough food, water and essential supplies that will last seven days after the storm arrives. Individuals should consider having at least two emergency supply kits, one full kit at home and smaller portable kits in their workplace, vehicle or other places they spend time.
• Fuel Up – Go ahead and fuel all vehicles and generators in the event that fuel is not available after the storm.
• Prepare for High Winds – Bring loose, lightweight objects (e.g., patio furniture, garbage cans, and bicycles) inside; anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (e.g., gas grills and propane tanks); and trim or remove trees close enough to fall on buildings.
• Turn Around, Don't Drown – In the event of a roadway covered by water, do not attempt to drive over the flooded road. The water depth may be misleading, and you could end up stranded or trapped.
• Evacuate When Necessary – If an evacuation notice is issued, leave. Research possible evacuation routes and make arrangements before the storm, so you have somewhere to go.
For the latest updates and advisories, continue to follow local media and the National Weather Service Mobile at www.weather.gov/mobile for continued weather updates. The City of Gulf Shores will continue to share updates through the City’s website and social media channels. To receive updates via email or text message, please visit www.gulfshoresal.gov and click on “Notify Me.”