2005-08 Hurricane Katrina

The following information is provided in order from most recent to least recent. If you’re reading this information for the first time, please start with Update #1 and work your way up. Click to view:

Update #3 8/30/05:


Ladies and gentlemen, here is an update regarding Holiday Isle in the aftermath of Hurricane KATRINA as of Tuesday, 30 Aug 05 at 10:00AM:

The Isle weathered Hurricane KATRINA much better than most would have expected. Some of the condos appear to have taken more of a hit this go around due to high surf and winds. Yesterday afternoon, the winds remained VERY strong with up to 60-70 MPH gusts so Holiday Isle was no place to be yesterday afternoon and evening.
We do not have anywhere near the sand on Gulf Shore Drive that we had with Hurricane DENNIS but there is more significant beach erosion. Most of the protective berms that the City placed after DENNIS are now gone. We had some sand carryover from the vacant lots, but that has already been cleared from the roads.
The roads on the Isle are passable and there are no restrictions on access to and from the Isle with one exception. The Lands End area of Destin Point is underwater and that road is not passable. Additionally, water and sewer services to that area have been isolated.

As of right now, both the potable and recycled water systems are fully energized and the sanitary sewer system is largely operational with the exception of Land’s End. Destin Water Users is clearing sand from some of the sewer lines and that system should be fully back on line later Tuesday afternoon. The water and sewer infrastructure systems appear largely OK. The lift stations are currently running on generator power.

Holiday Isle remains without commercial power. The top of one power pole is severed at the beginning part of the Isle which has knocked out power for all of the area. Gulf Power was unable to work on that line yesterday due to the high winds but is enroute now to replace that pole. We’re hopeful that pole will be replaced later today. Once done, Gulf Power will be able to reenergize the Isle and we’ll have a better idea of where any other power outages may exist.

A very preliminary survey of the canal system was done and right now, we see no major problems that did not exist prior to KATRINA. We remain engaged to correcting those issues as quickly as possible.

Right now, the Association management team is on the job and starting the recovery effort anew. John and Joey are out on the property completing their damage assessment efforts. Sue is contacting residents and letting them know where we stand and addressing their concerns. Our priorities will be to clear the canals, right of way and sidewalks. We’ll want to get any uprooted palm trees back in the ground as soon as we can to save as many of them as we can. We’ll move on to recover the common areas as quickly as possible. Like you, we’ve got this process down pretty good by now…we’ve all had far too much practice.

Local conditions are still fairly severe. There remain some strong winds and squall lines that pass through. Highway 98 remains closed from Fort Walton Beach to Destin. Sue and I left Shalimar at 6:30AM this morning to come to work and we walked in the office at 9:45AM. That’s a 3-hour jaunt though Niceville to Destin via the Mid-Bay Bridge. For what it’s worth, the toll has been suspended. The I-10 bridge at Pensacola remains closed…the 3-Mile Bridge on Highway 98 to Pensacola as well as the Garcon Point Bridge are open. I-10 east of Crestview is open but VERY crowded. I-10 west of Pensacola is a mess as damage assessment in Mobile and points west continues. This has been a catastrophic event for Mississippi, and Louisiana and parts of Alabama. If you must transit those areas to return – my advice is to stay put where you are until things settle down.

In closing, I’d like to mention the outstanding efforts and work by Lewis Cooper and his team regarding both our preparation for and his actions during the storm. Lewis is on our board and is Chairperson of our beaches Committee. Lewis went way above and beyond to clear our common areas and used his machinery to shore up some of our vacant lots before the storm. DURING the storm, he was out on the beach with his machinery shoring up eroding berms. He did all of this to help protect all of Holiday isle from damage and I’m convinced his efforts made a huge difference for us all. It was a gracious and classy move, done without compensation, I might add. Many of his folks are from the Mississippi and Alabama area and stayed here to help us prepare before they returned home to weather the storm with their own families. Be sure to thank him and his team when you see them.

So, all and all, it could have been much worse for us here on the Isle. In fact, it WAS much worse for those to our West. Let’s keep them in our thoughts and prayers.
We’ll pass another update as soon as we can.

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Update #2 8/28/05


The City of Destin has issued a MANDATORY evacuation order for all City residents living SOUTH OF HIGHWAY 98 (WHICH INCLUDES HOLIDAY ISLE) effective at 4:00PM, Sunday 28 August 2005.

The National Weather Service is forecasting sustained winds of 45-50 MPH and gusts up to 75 MPH. Additionally a 10-12 foot storm surge is predicted for the beaches of Destin.

Gulf Shore Drive will remain open until it becomes impassable for emergency vehicles. At that time, access to the Isle will be restricted . As of Sunday morning, Gulf Shore Drive at Sandpiper Cove is already flooded and down to one lane access. Additionally, the Lands End area of Destin Point is already flooded (2-3 feet in some areas). A great deal of the protective berm placed on the beach since Hurricane DENNIS is rapidly eroding now.

The point here is all residents should heed the City directive to leave the Isle as soon as possible. We are fairly confident the road will breech again at Sandpiper Cove and perhaps at other locations preventing emergency vehicle access. Nobody would want to stay put and not be able to have emergency vehicle access for support when required.

Davidson Middle School in Crestview opens at 4:00 Today (Sunday) as an emergency shelter.

We will continue to provide updates as the City puts them forth.

Remember our friends and neighbors to the west in your thoughts and prayers…….

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Update #1 8/26/05


Here is the latest update from the Destin City Manager’s Meeting at 4:45PM today, Friday, 26 Aug 05.

Hurricane KATRINA continues on a west/northwest track. She is expected to continue that course and be impacted by a high pressure system which should turn her on a more northerly course. Earlier today, the Mobile AL National Weather Service Office was projecting a landfall between Navarre and Destin, with the storm forecast to be a Cat 3 level.

Since that time, the National Hurricane Center has revised the projected track of KATRINA to be more westerly with a current projection of landfall along the Mississippi/Alabama border. It remains projected to be a Cat 3 storm when it makes landfall sometime mid morning on Monday.

HOWEVER, the storm is still a long way out and our area certainly falls within the cone of strike possibility. Additionally, any projection farther than 24 hours out is just that…a projection. These things can turn as well as strengthen…on a dime.

We’ll should be able to give a much better idea of where this storm is headed this time tomorrow.

As of right now, to be on the safe side, the City is still projecting a voluntary evacuation of low lying areas at noon Sat, 27 Aug with mandatory evacuation at 6:00AM Sunday 28 Aug. This may change either way so listen to local media for updates.

Now is the time to be securing all outside property and construction materials. It’s especially important to secure those materials being used for repairs and renovations. Strong winds will turn these items into missiles, causing even more damage to property and greatly increasing risk of injury.

Gasoline lines here in the local area are already pretty nuts and supplies are getting tight.

Sadly, we’ve been through this before and most of us know the drill far too well by now. We’ll get through this one too by working together…just like we have in the past.

We’ll keep you updated with updated throughout the weekend as the situation changes.

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