Yikes, unconfirmed reports from Orange Beach say that the Flora Bama, a bar and institution on the Florida-Alabama line, is gone. Updates say it has been severely damaged, not erased.
Parts of the beach highway are gone.
A construction crane at Phoenix IX was driven across the road.
Video shows 6 to 8 ft of water on Hwy 59. The reporter is standing near King Neptune's, about a mile and a half inland, and can go no closer to the shore. Coke machines and refrigerators are floating.
While many of the large animals were evacuated from the zoo in Gulf Shores, about a dozen alligators are loose. Hunters with shotguns are wading about looking for them. There's a 12-footer named "Chuckie" out there.
I took a shower, but Lyman tells me that the mayor of Gulf Shores spoke a few minutes ago. The city requests that no one go in for two or three days. They plan some aerial observations later this afternoon.
According to a poster at the Gulf Shores forum at al.com, the Baldwin Co. EMA said at a noon conference that 100 percent of condos have significant damage.
From the forum:
They (ABC) had a reporter drive down the coast line in Orange Beach(as discussed below) and he described everything he saw. He says the Phoenix condos are in relatively good shape. Some damage, but can be fixed. He said 90% of the condos had at least minor damage but many were actually collapsed to some extent. He says the road was severely damaged and it was down to one lane. A crane was toppled near one of the bridges where construction on a new complex was happening. Described the scene as a "war zone". Many roofs gone, of course. He expects it to be a few years before things are completely back to normal. They'll have video soon.At 2:20 Fox reports that the search for Chuckie has been called off temporarily while workers transport other wildlife out of the area.
A poster reports that video of the beach road should be up shortly on ABC 33/40 in Birmingham. Others have asked that watchers make thorough as possible reports. There is a link to the station here but no live feed.