Sunday, August 31, 2008

Parts of Mobile Evacuated

iPhone Photo Copyright: Flying Debris

I was surprised to see the National Weather Service talking this morning about tidal surge in Mobile Bay and Bayou La Batre, although I shouldn't have been. The above photo was taken on the back pier of the Bluegill Restaurant in Spanish Fort, Alabama last April. The Bluegill is on Battleship Parkway (the Causeway) between Mobile and Mobile Bay's Eastern Shore, it is on the northern edge of Mobile Bay, a beautiful area of bayous, back-bays and rivers. The Mobile Press Register is reporting that there are now mandatory evacuations in Mobile south of I10 and in other low-lying areas. The pier pictured above likely will be underwater when the sun sets on Mobile again this evening.

The Bluegill is a fun honky-tonk type place with good live music, good food and a great staff, our dinner last spring featured a table full of baskets of crab claws that I've been missing since that evening. The Bluegill's web site says that they were blown down during Hurricane Frederick in 1979, I was within a mile of the eye wall of Hurricane Frederick when it hit Mobile in 1979. The risk of tidal surge is obviously high in the low-lying areas near Mobile Bay. Parts of downtown Mobile are very susceptible to flooding, I remember leaving town after Frederick and seeing an ocean freighter sitting on a city street. Another danger has to do with the local topography, the highest point on the Gulf Coast is a Mobile neighborhood called Spring Hill (the hill does have a spring and Spring Hill College sits atop the hill), that area is very susceptible to tornadoes during a direct hit. As things look this morning that area will be hit with tidal surge rather high winds. Good Luck and God Bless all those folks on the Gulf Coast.

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