Rain Batters Alabama Communities as Hurricane Sally Approaches

Richard Fausset

The water was already beginning to flip roads into rivers Tuesday afternoon within the oyster and fishing city of Bayou La Batre, Ala., as Hurricane Sally remained parked offshore a number of miles out within the Gulf of Mexico. Ernest Nelson, 66, had taken refuge below a home raised 10 ft off the bottom on concrete pillars. The rain was coming laborious.

How Mr. Nelson discovered himself below this home, and certainly, how the home bought constructed within the first place, was all tangled within the lengthy, painful drama of a altering local weather that has irrevocably modified and complex life alongside the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

Mr. Nelson, a retired business fisherman, had been residing greater than 300 miles west of Bayou La Batre, within the small Louisiana city of Hackberry. However a number of weeks in the past, Hurricane Laura roared out of the Gulf and devastated Hackberry, together with Mr. Nelson’s house, a small journey trailer proper on the water. His sister, Stephenie Bosarge, 63, had pushed over in a U-Haul truck to take him to security simply earlier than the storm made landfall.

“You’re wanting on the final particular person to get out of Hackberry,” Mr. Nelson mentioned, grinning below his cap.

Ms. Bosarge introduced her older brother again to Bayou La Batre and her elevated house, set only a few yards from the water. There had been a special home on the property earlier than Hurricane Katrina, however Katrina blew it away, together with Ms. Bosarge’s marriage ceremony bands and household photographs. The Volunteers of America got here by way of city and constructed her this new home. Katrina additionally washed away her oyster store.

Since Katrina, many homes in Bayou La Batre are actually raised on stilts, and folks have their methods of determining what to do with all that area under. You’ll be able to park a truck or boat, retailer junk or retailer instruments. Ms. Bosarge turned her place into a nice outside lounge, with somewhat tiki bar, some porch swings and a stereo system.

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