GULF SHORES, Ala. — It was a sleepless night for Richard Franzen as Hurricane Sally made landfall, pushing water against his Gulf Shores home.
“The wind just really howled and when the gusts came up it sounded like a tornado I didn't think the house was going to make it,” he said. “Within two hours it came out of the lagoon and it came up to our house with a foot inside.”
Just down the road from him, the sound of tree limbs snapping kept Bonnie Smith awake all night.
“We have a large tree. We hear it go CAPOW! It was like a gun going off,” she said. “Needless to say we didn't sleep very well.”
The storm made landfall around 4:45 a.m. close to Gulf Shores, bringing 105 mph winds and rain measured in feet rather than inches.
Driving down I-59 to Gulf Shores, you can see Sally’s strength. Trees are snapped in half, roofs have been lifted off of buildings and storefronts are gone.
The vast majority of people in Baldwin County are without power. Line workers are already working on restoration.
Franzen has roof damage and lots of yard work ahead of him.
“I don't look forward to all the repair work. I think it’ll take months to clean this up,” he said. “I had all kinds of landscaping back there, the backyard fence is gone. I am a Vietnam veteran. I have a memorial back there. Its underwater. I lost some of my friends in Vietnam, but it’s gone.”
Hopefully, he’ll find the pieces as the water recedes.