Hurricane Sally Affects The Environmentally Fragile Alabama Coastline

 1516954131 
1600270496
Courtesy of Scott Carpenter

A boat dock near Pass Chateau on Dauphin Island.

The eye of Hurricane Sally crept onto land near Gulf Shores this morning, moving at just 3 mph. Coastal areas began experiencing heavy rains and a strong storm surge hours before the storm made landfall. Both are threats to the fragile environment along the coast.

The storm surge already had begun eroding sand dunes Tuesday afternoon, according to the Weather Channel, as well as swamping piers and low-lying areas. The hurricane was packing winds upward of 100 mph early Wednesday morning, and rain in some areas could be more than 20 inches by the time the system has passed through the area, according to the National Weather Service.

BirminghamWatch about a year ago published several stories looking at the effects of climate change and the more severe weather it’s causing are having along Alabama’s coastline.

By Hank Black

Along coastal Alabama lies Dauphin Island, a narrow, shifting strip of sand inhabited by a laid-back vacation town that is becoming more endangered with every passing storm and every incremental rise in the warming waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Dauphin is one of perhaps 2,200 barrier islands that make up 10% to 12% of the globe’s coastline. They help absorb the blows of nature and suffer greatly for it, either eroding dramatically from catastrophic hurricane forces or gradually, almost imperceptibly, from constant wave action.

These sandy, offshore bodies are potent poster children for our planet’s warming, part of a natural, 100,000-year cycle that, according to most scientists, has greatly accelerated since the birth of the Industrial Age.

Read More:

Cloudy Future for Dauphin Island, a Canary in the Coal Mine of Climate Change

Changing Climate: Alabama Sees Heat, Storms, Drought and Turtles

Many in Coastal Alabama Act Now to Rebuild Shorelines, Prepare for Storms

In Pursuit of the Disappearing Alabama Oyster. Will They Ever Return?

More Hurricane Sally Coverage

Settlement Reached To Address ABC Coke Pollution

The Drummond Company will now be required to follow a leak detection and repair program for the rest of the plant’s existence.

Park Board Approves Making Legion Field A 24/7 Vaccination Site

Legion Field has been operating as a testing site for COVID-19. Now officials want to expand the operation to include coronavirus vaccinations.

JeffCo Commission Picks Up Where Feds Left Off, Will Pay For COVID Time Off

The Jefferson County Commission unanimously approved funding this week that will help pay county employees for time off related to COVID-19.

COVID Vaccinations Begin For People 75+ Years Old

Jefferson County residents 75 and older started receiving the COVID-19 vaccine this week.

Woodfin Looks Toward A Better 2021 In State Of The Community Address

The mayor discussed continued neighborhood revitalization, the rise in homicides, and encouraging economic development projects on the horizon.

Scales Announces Bid For Mayor

The county commissioner would be the first elected female mayor of the city.

More Hurricane Sally Coverage