ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WSFA) - No visitors, at least for now. That’s the message Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are sending to anyone thinking of making a trip there.
Many roads, businesses and homes are still underwater after Hurricane Sally made landfall Wednesday. Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and most of the Gulf Coast still had no power and no running water Thursday afternoon.
That means none of the traffic lights around there are working, most gas stations are closed and restaurants can’t open.
Because of the damage, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and the area of Fort Morgan are closed to visitors for at least 10 days.
All over the county, trees were toppled onto power lines, making it impossible to drive through streets or neighborhoods.
“It’s hectic and it’s frantic and it’s ugly,” said Kay Maghan of Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism.
The big concern is flooding. Sally moved so slow and dumped more rain onto Baldwin County than it could handle.
It’s taking a long time for all of that water to wash away. Many homes are still surrounded by water.
Before the cleanup can even begin, people along the coast have been waiting for the water to recede and the debris to be cleared away just so they can get to their homes.
On the bay side of Orange Beach, boats that were left in the water to ride out the storm didn’t fare well.
There is still so much work that needs to be started.
Officials say that asking visitors to stay away for at least for the next 10 days will give emergency crews and first responders a chance to get a good assessment of the work that needs to be done, and then get started.
“It’s really hard. Because with COVID, we didn’t know what was going to happen,” Maghan said. “Thankfully, our visitors love us, they love our beaches, we love them, and we had an amazing summer. And for this to happen, it just stinks.”