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Posted on: October 27, 2020

TS Zeta #3: City of Gulf Shores Declares Local State of Emergency and Calls for Visitors to Evacuate

H Zeta

The City of Gulf Shores has declared a local state of emergency due to Tropical Storm Zeta's imminent threat and is calling for the voluntary evacuation of all visitors and tourists. The City encourages residents in low-lying areas, including West Beach, Little Lagoon, Plash Island, Fort Morgan Peninsula, RV/Mobile Homes, and any other rising-water, flood-prone areas, to also evacuate.

"Due to the continued intensification of Tropical Storm Zeta and the weakened condition our community is in after Hurricane Sally, our area is extremely vulnerable to more damage than normally anticipated from a storm of this size," said Mayor Robert Craft. "Do not take this situation lightly. We are urging all of our residents and visitors to stay weather alert and to make sure you make all necessary preparations for this storm. 

Gulf Shores and surrounding areas remain under a Tropical Storm Warning, Storm Surge Warning and High Rip Current and High Surf Warning. Zeta is forecast to make landfall along the southeast Louisiana coast early Wednesday evening and quickly move across our region Wednesday night. Zeta will most likely move into the area as a strong tropical storm, however there is a potential for hurricane-force wind gusts and strong tropical storm force gusts of 60 mph to 70 mph.

Zeta's projected landfall is expected to bring a 3 to 5-foot storm surge and high surf of 10 to 15 feet. This combination, along with a weakened dune system and erosion caused by Hurricane Sally, puts properties at risk of coastal flooding.

Those in need of a place to park their vehicle overnight to avoid flooding can take them to the Gulf Shores Sportsplex, 19025 Oak Road West, and park them in the west (visitor's side) lot.

SHELTERS
Due to the lack of shelters available in Baldwin County and the current COVID-19 regulations in place, residents should be prepared to plan far enough ahead to find a safe location. Do not rely on the shelter of last resort.

SAND
Sand is still available for residents at the Gulf Shores Sportsplex, located at 19025 Oak Road West. Sandbags and shovels will not be provided but can be purchased at local hardware and home improvement stores.

DEBRIS 
Residents are asked to STOP bringing any additional debris to the roadside in order to protect personal property and surrounding property. Concentrated piles of debris present a higher risk of being picked up by heavy winds. City crews are working extra hours this week to clean out ditches collect as much storm debris as possible in anticipation of potential impacts from Zeta. If possible, residents are asked to clean out the culverts and ditches located at the base of driveways as much as possible to allow water to flow through.

HURRICANE RE-ENTRY PASSES
Residents are asked to make sure they have a current Hurricane Re-entry Pass. In the case that check points are put in place, a hurricane re-entry pass will be required for entry. Per City of Gulf Shores Resolution 5642-16, once a Hurricane Warning has been issued for the Gulf Shores area, re-entry/beach parking passes are no longer distributed to any residents, businesses or other entities. Passes are available at both City Hall and the Gulf Shores City Store during regular business hours.

CITY CLOSURES AND CANCELLATIONS
All City Facilities will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday until further notice. All recreation and sports events are canceled for Thursday. Movies at Meyer and any other City programs are canceled for Thursday.

STORM PREPARATIONS
Residents should continue making all necessary storm preparations. See the following storm preparedness tips.

  • Stay Weather Alert - Pay extra attention to local weather reports until the storm has moved through the area. Be sure to keep your weather radio on and your cell phone charged to ensure you can receive weather alerts.
  • Know Your Elevation – You must know your elevation to understand if your location will be impacted by storm surge. Find your elevation online at https://viewer.nationalmap.gov/advanced-viewer/.
  • Gather Information – Keep a list of local emergency contact information. Find contact information at www.gulfshoresal.gov/resourcedirectory.
  • Plan and Take Action – Be sure to have a safety plan in place for you and your family. This includes planning for essential medications, contact information, food, water and pets.
  • The First 72 Are On You - Shelters are not available during the first 72 hours after a storm passes, and residents should plan accordingly. Prepare by creating disaster kits that contain enough food, water and essential supplies that will last seven days after the storm arrives. Individuals should consider having at least two emergency supply kits, one full kit at home and smaller portable kits in their workplace, vehicle or other places they spend time.
  • Fuel Up – Go ahead and fuel all vehicles and generators in the event that fuel is not available after the storm.
  • Prepare for High Winds – Bring loose, lightweight objects (e.g., patio furniture, garbage cans, and bicycles) inside; anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (e.g., gas grills and propane tanks); and trim or remove trees close enough to fall on buildings.
  • Turn Around, Don't Drown – In the event of a roadway covered by water, do not attempt to drive over the flooded road. 
  • The water depth may be misleading, and you could end up stranded or trapped.
  • Evacuate When Necessary – If an evacuation notice is issued, leave. Research possible evacuation routes and make arrangements before the storm, so you have somewhere to go

For the latest updates and advisories, continue to follow local media and the National Weather Service Mobile at www.weather.gov/mobile for continued weather updates. The City of Gulf Shores will continue to share updates through the City's website and social media channels. To receive updates via email or text message, please visit www.gulfshoresal.gov and click on "Notify Me."