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Hurricane Katrina in Gulf Shores Alabama

We were so very, very blessed to have been spared the worst part of the storm. As large as Katrina was, we still managed to get quite a bit of Katrina's impact here and once again, our DAC-ART home proved to be the best possible type of residence. We can pretty much consider this a hurricane proof house now after Ivan, Katrina, Dennis, Rita, Marie, Bob..and all the other small hurricanes that I cant even remember.

dac-art-hurricane-katrina-porch.jpg (19801 bytes) Photo---Monday August 29, 2005

I managed to get over to our house late in the afternoon during Hurricane Katrina. We were staying on the other side of the peninsula in a house on higher ground. We knew that the worst of the storm ahd passed and we saw a police car circle the street, so we figured that the road must be passable. I was eager to get some photos.There were limbs but no traffic and we drove around them. We left the car near the road and walked down the driveway.  The wind was just unbelievable. It was the strongest wind I have ever personally experienced. The house did a good job of blocking the wind as I approached. I was afraid that the driving salt wind would ruin my camera, so I kept it under my shirt except for the moment that I shot the pictures.  When I got up on the porch, moving towards the southern end, I was unable to stand.

Our DAC-ART house sits on Little Lagoon, a very shallow body of water that is connected to the Gulf of Mexico by a small inlet. Little Lagoon used to be deeper, but recent hurricanes have moved so much sand into it. The lagoon is about one half mile across in front of our house and about 8 miles long. It is usually shimmering, blue and full of jumping fish. On a sunny day, you can see the Gulf Front homes across the lagoon.

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dac-art-dryer-vent.jpg (9934 bytes)We had prepared well. The hurricane shutters were in place, all the yard stuff was brought inside and this time I remembered to plug the clothes dryer vent opening with a rubber plumbers pressure testing plug. hurricane-katrina-trees.jpg (10317 bytes) The force of the wind drove salt inland for a long, long way. Now, days later, trees everywhere are turing completely brown. We will probably lose many more trees and some of the grass sod that we put down after Hurricane Ivan ruined our whole property.
katrina-boathouse.jpg (20180 bytes) Next door to us, to the west on what for years was called 'The Old Meyer Place' is a development with ten smaller lots and a shared pool and boat dock. Hurricane Katrina took down the new fence they had put up and has killed the screening shrubs that we planted. I had also put about a dozen muscadines along on the fence. I had planted Leyland Cypress, Ealeagnus, and the native Myrica--Wax Myrtle. Everything looks dead now.

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Next door, the salt waters of shallow Little Lagoon were pushed over the new swimming pool and you can see the result in the photo below.

 

Hurricane Katrina has killed so many of Gulf Shores street trees, and the trees on our property. Driving north, one sees bad salt damage on tall trees as far as 20 miles inland. If there is a wide open filed with a stand of trees behind it, the entire southern side will be brown and dead looking and the northern side will still be green.

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Our flagpole was flattened by the hurricane

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Now, about 4 days later, our grass is mostly all brown. There is some green near the roots and I have kept the sprinklers going to try to flush out the salt as much as possible. Sand has been washed up in the grass as well, but that should not be a problem. I just want the grass to live. Without a dense ground cover, any future storms cause terrible errosion. We have lost almost all the large shurbs that we planted to replace the hedgerow that Hurricane Ivan ripped out. We have no privacy now.

Our poor trees.......oh well, more Gulf breeze.....

Inside, I found that there had been a few drips of water from the ceiling. This was probably from wind blown rain up and under the metal roof. Since we have no plaster dri-wall, it was no big deal. (See ceilings here.)  I opened all the windows--once again the WeatherShield windows and doors did a fantastic job--and let the Gulf breeze blow thru the house. We got electricity on Thursday, so with the air conditioning turned on, the humidity inside was lowered, and and remaining dampness was leaving. I had removed my computers, but left most personal belongings since we could see on Weather TV that the eye of Katrina was moving west of us and we knew that the roof had held during Hurricane Ivan and figured it would hold fast thru this storm--and it did.

We thank everyone for their emails, calls and prayers.  Hurricane Katrina could have done much worse damage here, as it did in our neighboring communities of Moss Point, Pascagoula, Pass Christian, Biloxi, Gulf Port, Dauphin Island and of course New Orleans. DAC-ART has proven to be a great choice of building material for this hurricane prone area.

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