Ed Driscoll

Alabama Also Hard-Hit By Katrina

While we’ve been focusing on Louisiana and Mississippi, this Newhouse article says that Alabama was also hard-hit by Katrina:

Hurricane Katrina’s powerful east side unleashed a stinging assault on Alabama’s coastline Monday, pushing water over roads and up rivers, toppling trees and killing power to thousands of residents.

An oil rig broke free from its moorings and struck a large suspension bridge, forcing its closure; beach areas rebuilding from last September’s Hurricane Ivan were awash again; scores of roads were closed; and everything from fish camps to multimillion-dollar homes along the low-lying areas of Mobile Bay took on water at an alarming rate.

As powerful wind gusts burst into downtown Mobile, large rectangular pieces of foam-core insulation flew through the air like playing cards being flung from the upper stories of the RSA Tower, which is under construction as Alabama’s tallest office building.

Where vacationers and conventioneers normally sip mint juleps in the historic Grand Hotel in Point Clear, more than nine feet of water swamped the lobby. The resort underwent a $50 million renovation in 2003.

In Washington County, meanwhile, two people died in a wreck attributed to heavy rains from the storm.

Gov. Bob Riley announced Monday evening that he received approval from President Bush to declare parts of southwest Alabama federal disaster areas. The disaster declaration means federal and state assistance will be available to help governments in Mobile, Baldwin, Washington, Clarke, Choctaw and Sumter counties recover costs for debris removal and other hurricane-relief efforts.

“I think we’ll find that Mobile County experienced the most hurricane damage since Hurricane Frederic,” Randy McKee, head of the National Weather Service’s Mobile office, said, recalling the 1979 storm that is the local benchmark for destructiveness.

Read the whole thing.

Update: Michelle Malkin has a post which reminds us that it’s “Not Just New Orleans” that’s been hit.

Another Update: Speaking of which, welcome to Michelle’s readers.