Friday, February 25, 2011

Pic of the Day: Pickens Flooded, Hurricane Ivan

This is how the west end of Santa Rosa Island looked after Hurricane Ivan passed over in September of 2004. Several feet of seawater were retained by a concrete seawall that was built in 1906 to protect the fort and its batteries and buildings from hurricanes.

The fort and concrete batteries didn't suffer much, but Building #8, the Museum/Library/Auditorium, was floated off its pilings and had its south wing snapped loose. Three-fifths of the museum's contents were ruined.

The same storm surge tore up about 1.5 miles of road leading to the fort, flattened the big steel doors covering Battery Langdon's casemates and drove right out the back of the battery, and flattened a lot of homes along the island outside the park.

For months after the hurricane, crews were pulling home appliances, Dumpsters, boats, and such out of Pensacola Bay. Downtown Pensacola itself was flooded for a quarter-mile inland from the waterfront. The I-10 bridge across Escambia Bay was demolished by a 35- to 60-foot-high wall of water that washed over Santa Rosa Island and roared right up the bay, flinging sections of bridge deck like they were plywood.

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