Alabama coastal towns delay beach reopening after Sally

Alabama coastal towns delay beach reopening after Sally

GULF SHORES, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s largest beach towns are delaying the reopening of their beaches because the cleanup from Hurricane Sally is taking longer than expected.

Officials in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach said the beaches won’t reopen until Oct. 2 rather than this Saturday as originally planned. Residents and visitors with rental agreements are still allowed in, but with limitations.

“You cannot get in the water, we prefer you not walk on the beach,” Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon said in a video on the town’s Facebook page.

Some beaches were badly eroded when the storm made landfall at Gulf Shores last week, and others are still being cleaned. Fallen trees and other debris also are still being removed from neighbors and roads away from the beachfront, Gulf Shores city spokesman Grant Brown said Thursday.

The beach at Dauphin Island also remains closed, and the governor’s office said it would amend a closure order once the town is ready.

Officials are anxious to get the area reopened to tourism partly because of the financial hit that resulted from the coronavirus pandemic shutdown earlier this year.