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Hurricane Sally hits Gulf shores

By |  October 12, 2020 0 Comments
Damage from Hurricane Sally (Photo: Jamey Davis, Peninsula GC)

According to the National Weather Service, after hitting the Florida Panhandle, the Category 2 Hurricane Sally hit at the same spot as 2004’s devastating Hurricane Ivan. (Photo: Jamey Davis, Peninsula GC)

At 4:45 a.m. on Sept. 16, Hurricane Sally made landfall near Gulf Shores, Ala.

“We all thought this was just going to be a regular storm, no big deal, we’ll have a little flooding, and we’ll be back to work (the next day),” said Jamey Davis, CGCS at Peninsula Golf Club, Gulf Shores, Ala.

The crew prepared the 27-hole property for Sally for several days prior to the storm. On Tuesday, Sept. 15, the storm intensified, bringing 2 feet of rain before the slow-moving hurricane even made landfall. “You didn’t even realize that that wasn’t the meat of the storm,” Davis said.

Davis reported that about two dozen houses in his nearby neighborhood of Orange Beach were hit badly, with many people walking out of their damaged homes with little more than the clothes on their backs. Luckily, Davis said he was able to account for his entire crew the day of the storm. After securing his house, he jumped in his truck to survey the damage at the course.

“We had 120 mile-per-hour winds … huge hardwood oaks broken right in the center of the trunk,” he said, adding that the property is reporting about 600 trees down, flooding and structural damage to both its clubhouses.

Second Assistant Superintendent Morgan Taylor said the crew first started chopping down trees to get to the maintenance shop and then clearing brush so that the houses surrounding Peninsula could have access out of their homes.

She said the crew is making good progress, and the cleanup is creating a sense of community with other employees at the course.

“We have a lot of motivation knowing where we are and where we want to be,” she said.

For now, the crew is hard at work. “It’s a big undertaking … this is at least a six- to eight-week process, if not longer,” Davis said.

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