Saturday, August 29, 2015

Hurricane Katrina's 10 Year Anniverary Today

Fairhope, Al.

Pier during Katrina

It has been ten years since the last major tropical storm affected the city: on August 29, 2005 hurricane Katrina made landfall in Mississippi.

(see the time lapse video below of the once-category 5 storm as it approached)

Although wind speed was far less than hurricane Ivan's direct-hit the year before, the storm surge reached record levels of over 13 ft. recorded at the pier park -- doing major damage to the main pier area and Yacht Club on Fly Creek.  (The concrete decking of the pier is designed to break off to dissipate energy and limit damage to pilings.)

Old yacht club
The Yacht Club building was replaced and raised higher to conform with new flood plain data; but the pier remains at the same level, insuring more damage from storms to come. (Some of the pier's lower 'crabbing pads' and a  boat launch ramp nearby were not replaced.)

Since then, municipal beach sand was replenished and some berms with vegetation added: removing wooden bulkheads south of the pier for a living shoreline was proposed at one time, but never funded. .

The cost of pier repairs alone were over $2 million, according to a 2006 FEMA press release (similar repairs were needed just a year before for hurricane Ivan):

$1.6 Million in FEMA Public Assistance Approved for Repairs to Fairhope Municipal Pier

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved a total of $1,595,930 for the city of Fairhope in Baldwin County to repair and restore the recreational pier at the end of Fairhope Avenue.

The tidal surge generated by Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005 caused significant damage to the Fairhope Municipal Pier. The pier facility is comprised of: the pier seawall and parking area; the main concrete pier, including a public restroom building, utility building; a swimming platform; marina structures; two crabbing platforms; and another 16' X 100' platform abutting the west end of the main pier.

The $1.6 million grant represents a 75 percent federal share of the total project cost of $2,127,907.50. The remaining 25 percent is from non-federal resources.


Pier area during storm
Repair process underway
Pier St.
Storm surge map

Yacht club

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If they was smart they would build it 2 feet higher after it gets wiped out next time an wider too. but govment aint that smart around here.