Barry’s near miss still causes trouble on Alabama’s coast

Jul 15, 2019

Credit NOAA

Coastal Alabama is drying out and cleaning up after a near miss from what was briefly Hurricane Barry.

The storm system moved farther west than forecasters expected, making landfall on Louisiana's central coast Saturday morning. But the storm still dumped a tremendous amount of rain on Alabama's coast. The towns of Fairhope and Daphne reported as much as 7 inches of rainfall over the weekend.

The Baldwin County Health Department says those heavy rains on the Eastern Short of Mobile Bay caused up to $200,000 of sewage to overflow into local creeks feeding into the bay.

Dauphin Island was also hard-hit, with sand blown by heavy rains blocking Bienville Boulevard, the island's main thoroughfare. Dauphin Island mayor Jeff Collier said up to 3 feet of sand blocked the street in some places.

"It's going to take multiple days to get everything back in shapre," he said. "We're hoping to get Bienville Boulevard cleared within a couple of days."

Collier said part of the reason for the blockage is the constant erosion Dauphin Island faces on its beaches.

"We're on the front line, and that is what barrier islands do. And, unfortunately, as I've said over the years, the island has been subjected to a lot of storms and hurricanes, which has reduced the resiliency, if you will, on the island itself," he said.

At least four roads in Baldwin County were closed by flooding on Saturday. All roads were reopened by Sunday. Mobile County reported roads near Bayou La Batre were also left flooded, but cleared over the weekend.

Alabama Power reported about 2,500 customers lost power in coastal Alabama over the weekend.