Swept Away

By: Alana Adams
By: Alana Adams

Two homes were completely destroyed in the wrath of Hurricane Ivan, but several others now stand on the brink of danger. Lost decks and stairways are the least of the problems for about 30 homeowners whose homes are condemned because the sand beneath them was washed out in the storm.

The homes at Cape San Blas in Gulf County once stood on solid ground looking down on the Gulf, but now the 50-foot drop-off leaves no room for safety. Jeff Burgess with the Volunteer Fire Department on the Cape says keeping people out of the homes is now a priority.

"The main danger is actually somebody walking out there. There's no sand underneath supporting some of the slabs, and just somebody's body weight could add an extra 150 to 200 pounds and that could cause the slab to collapse and then collapse on top of the person walking out there."

Even the vulnerable area called the “stump hole" didn't do much to prevent the Gulf waters from spilling over the rocks during the storm, making it impossible for cars to drive through. Sunday afternoon, the rock wall was still a mishap and portions of the road washed away.

In Mexico Beach, people were surprised to find the city canal entrance to the Gulf drained of water and filled with sand.

Charles McKibben says dredging is normal, but a sight like this is not.

"Our dredge is down at Port St. Joe in the intercostals waterway. Once they tow that dredge back up here, we're going to have to start pumping from the Gulf side inward. Normally it's always been from the canal side out."

But dealing with the unusual is becoming more normal in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan.


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