How some of our favorite local landmarks fared in the storm.

By Meghan Overdeep
September 17, 2020

Popular tourist destinations on the Florida-Alabama line are picking up the pieces following a direct hit from Hurricane Sally on Wednesday.

The category 2 storm made an early morning landfall in Gulf Shores, Alabama. High winds and flooding wrought havoc on coastal communities from Mobile Bay to Pensacola, Florida.

One of the area’s most photographed landmarks—the iconic 70-foot long shark that greats visitors at the entrance to Souvenir City in Gulf Shores—appears to have received a lashing from Sally’s 105-mph gusts. A video (below) shows a large metal sign above the store’s entrance bending and coming off in the wind. Though the sign can be seen smacking into the giant shark, save for a few loose teeth, it’s unclear if it was damaged.

A few miles east—on the border of Orange Beach, Alabama, and Perdido Key, Florida—one of the most famous bars in the country sustained considerable flooding. The owner of Flora-Bama, home of the legendary Bushwacker cocktail, revealed on Instagram that the beloved bar experienced flooding that was “much worse than anticipated.”

“It’s unreal and it’s heartbreaking,” the post reads. “Not a lot of insight to how extensive the damage is but flooding is much worse than anticipated.”

Sally, the strongest storm to impact the Pensacola area since Hurricane Ivan, occurred 16 years to the day as Sally. A whole section of Three Mile Bridge collapsed into Pensacola Bridge when it was hit by a barge.

Tourists are banned from Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and the Fort Morgan Peninsula until September 27 as cleanup and recovery continues.

Our hearts are with all our Gulf Coast friends.