Hurricane Ida causes little damage on Eastern Shore


SPANISH FORT – While the surge from Hurricane Ida covered the Mobile Bay Causeway, closing the highway, on Monday, Aug. 30, the storm did not do as much damage as the hurricanes of 2020, local officials said.

On Aug. 29, Ida came ashore near Port Fouchon, La. as a strong Category 4 hurricane, it caused severe damage as it moved north across Louisiana and into other states.

Spanish Fort Mayor Mike McMillan said that while the Causeway was flooded, little damage was reported in the city.

“We really didn’t have any problems,” McMillan said. “We had flooding on the Causeway, but ALDOT handles that, and those people are all about knowing what to do when that happens.”

He said restaurants and other businesses on the Causeway have learned to deal with high water, sealing off doors, moving equipment and taking other precautions. The Causeway was reopened after the waters receded.

“Everyone had a plan in place, and it went well,” he said.

He said no other significant problems were reported in Spanish Fort as a result of the storm.

In Daphne, some waterfront areas, such as Bayfront Park, were closed as the storm drove up water levels. Unlike Hurricane Zeta in 2020, however, the surge from Ida did not do as much damage to piers or other waterfront city facilities, Mayor Robin LeJeune said.

“We were concerned when it was approaching,” LeJeune said. “Zeta did a lot of damage to the piers, boardwalks, and other places and we were worried about the storm surge from Ida, but we didn’t get anything like that.”

Much of Zeta’s storm surge damage on the Eastern Shore was not covered by funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, LeJeune said. The federal disaster declaration from that storm only extended as far east as Mobile County and did not include Baldwin County, making Daphne and other Eastern Shore cities ineligible for relief funds.

“We had to cover those costs ourselves,”

During Ida, LeJeune said some low-lying areas near the water were flooded, but no major damage to streets or other property was reported.

“We were very blessed,” he said.

In Fairhope, the road leading to the Municipal Pier and the parks at North Beach and South Beach was barricaded Monday morning, but no major damage was reported in that city as well.

On the Eastern Shore, city halls and other municipal offices in Daphne and Fairhope and the Spanish Fort Community Center, including the Public Library and Senior Center were closed Aug. 30 due to the effects of the storm.

Public schools and parochial schools in Baldwin County were also closed, but reopened Aug. 31.

Daphne received 7.2 inches of rain as the outer bands from Hurricane Ida swept through the region, according to U.S. Weather Service reports. Spanish Fort received 7.38 inches, while 7.3 inches fell in Fairhope.

The most rainfall recorded in Baldwin County during the storm was 8.82 inches in Bay Minette, the reports said.