Strong storms create hassles in Gulf Shores

Heavy thunderstorms moved through the Gulf Shores area overnight and into Friday morning, March 28, 2014 causing some damage and delays to sporting events.

Red warning flags continued to fly over Gulf Shores public beaches Friday because of heavy surf.  That in combination with the storms had the normally busy beaches nearly deserted.  Those few who were out braving the elements didn’t seem to care how bad the weather was.

“It’s beautiful…wonderful.  It’s cold but it’s fun…wonderful and we rock,” said a visitor from Georgia.  When asked if they went swimming in spite of the red flag conditions, she was quick to respond.  “Yes we went swimming this morning.   I don’t care about the red flags.  It doesn’t bother us,” she said.

That’s just the attitude that concerns city officials, who warn visitors to take head of the warning flag system.

“Red flags mean that there’s severe rip currents and risks of rip tides present,” said Grant Brown with the city of Gulf Shores. “You’ve got to be careful of that.  Stay close to shore.  Watch the kids that are going into the water.  Stay close to someone else when you’re in the water.  Don’t take it for granted,” he said.

Elsewhere around town heavy rains filled ditched and covered some roads.  Some sporting events were also impacted.  A track meet featuring Spring Hill College, the University of South Alabama and Carver College from Pennsylvania had to be postponed due to the weather.  Officials say there is a lot to clean up before the events can take place.

“Tomorrow’s opening baseball and softball for our youth recreation sports teams and we have day two of the soccer tournament that’s going on and then on Sunday we have a baseball tournament going on all day,” Brown

Along with the rains came strong winds…strong enough to blow over some palm trees at some locations.

“Some of the newly planted palm trees haven’t had a chance to root out yet so with the winds and the rains that came this morning, we’re seeing some trees listing,” said Ron Kutter with Kutter’s Grounds Maintenance.

Thankfully the weather was nothing more than an inconvenience and no serious damage or injuries were reported along the beach.

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