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Perdio Key – Hurricane Ivan Information

PERDIDO KEY FLA – Observations of the Perdido Key area after afly over on Friday morning September 17 following HurricaneIvan.

PERDIDO KEY FLA – Hurricane Ivan threw all of its weightThursday morning, striking the Perdido Key with the brutal force ofa category 3 hurricane. The destruction is severe but not completeas the high-rise condos seemed to weather the storm quite well.Many of the private homes along the Key from the west end to theeast end also survived with roofs intact but others did not.

We flew over the Key Friday morning making several passes – twoalong the gulf side and one on the Ole River side. The following isa summary information on individual condo units taken from posts Imade to the Pensacola News Journal Perdido Key forum over the past24 hours after reviewing the tape in more detail. Please be awarethat we were flying by at 100 plus mph so video is not completelyclear and unfortunately in some areas not recognizable.

The video picks up just past the Flora/Bama and ends at thebridge over to Innerarity Point. Both bridges at each end of theKey are standing. I viewed one car crossing over the bridge fromOrange Beach.

Here is a summary by Condo of the posting with some addedinformation:

EDEN CONDOMINIUM – Eden looks in remarkable good shape. Theredoes not appear to be any structural damage and no beach erosion.We were flying at over 100 mph so we could not see lots of detailsbut did not see tell tale signs of curtains hanging out of windowson either the front side or the back side. There was no debrisfield in the parking lot or on the street. It did not appear thatthe first floor units had washed through as there is no sand in theupper parking lot on the west side nor the tennis court on the eastside. There is a lot of sand in the lower west parking lot.

Boats stored under the west side were washed out into theparking lot.

I could not tell if the waterfall area around the pool wasintact but it did appear that the blue gazebo was still standing asare many of the palm trees.

More Details on Eden in a later post

I had some time to slow- mo the video and look more closely.

Eden really looks quite qood. Perdido Drive is clear of sand butthe area east of the building saw a tremendous wash. As did thearea between Eden and Sea Spray East as well as between Sea SprayWest.

The window glass in the ground floor front entrance seems intactand I think the Eden sign is still standing at the entrance. Theredoes not appear to be any sand at the front entrance or on thesecond floor parking lot. There is sand only on the east corner ofthe tennis court on the east side.

All of this to say, I wonder if the V-shape of the buildingtrapped the water and forced the water to the sides – thus saving awash through?

Looking closely at the road side of both East and West, I amhard pressed to see any window or doors blown open. There are somedark areas on the east side but I think those are shadows. I do notsee any curtains blowing out any windows.

On the Gulf side it appears the waterfall is intact as are manyof the Palm trees. I really cannot tell about windows on that sidebut there has to be damage.

The roofs look good as do all the stepped balconies on each end.I cannot tell if the sunroom is still standing on the 11th floor ofthe east building. I see no structural damage to any of the roof. Ifind it hard to believe Eden looked that good but it does. I amsure there is stuff I cannot see.

For Eden folks – I understand Jutta is fine but her housesuffered major damage. She is frustrated in that she cannot get onthe key and can only see Eden at a distance.

She does have limited cell phone service. No info on Kevin,Allen, Chuck and the others. I have since heard Chuck is outshopping for generators. She told Beverly Smith that no one isbeing allowed on the key until the search and rescue in completed.She did mention that Ryan’s Catch Restaurant was hit very hard.

SEA SPRAY – Sea Spray East appears to have a fair amount ofwindows blown out on the gulf side. The west building looked muchbetter. Between Eden and the East building there is a build up ofsand and could be some wash through damage. Like Eden there was nodebris field in the parking lot, but lots of sand.

The old river pier for both Eden and Sea Spray appear to beintact.

The Victorian House (which my girls call the haunted house),west of Sea Spray is intact in fact it appeared the gazebo wasstill standing.

It appears to me that some windows are blown out on Sea SprayEast on the Gulf side. However, someone on another post who flew byFriday afternoon said he did not think windows were blown out. Ireally cannot tell for certain about the fourth floor there appearto be storm shutters of the first three floors on corner end nextto Eden but what I think is the fourth floor I can see black in thesame area. It is darker than the other areas that do not obviouslyhave storm shutters. Hope this helps.

I do not have a good shot of Sea Side Riverside, but it isintact as is the boat dock.

HOUSES WEST OF SEA SPRAY – The Belvedere units are standing withroof intact as is the Victorian House and its roof. West of SeaSpray / Riverside on Ole River the group of smaller condo areintact, one has roof damage. The multi-colored houses in the gatedcommunity are standing and I believe most if not all have theirroofs.

MARINER AND SEAFARER – Both buildings are standing withoutapparent structural damage but there is a lot of sand in theparking lots. Some windows appear broken out. The fence around thetennis court across the street is gone.

By structural damage I mean no obvious damage to the roof andthe building. The Mariner and Seafarer roofs seemed to be intact. Ionly have a back side view of both condos so I cannot tell youanything about the gulf side or the status of windows on thatside.

Don’t let me give you a false impression. There is damage thereand much sand around and in the parking lots, you must make yourown assumption on what that means. But your buildings arestanding.

SUNDOWNER – The Sundowner is standing but there appears to besome serious roof damage to the western most building. Photos Ihave seen posted on the Sundowner web site show much destruction onthe beach side.

PERDIDO TOWERS AREA – The area north of Sundowner and Seafarerwas hit pretty hard, I hate to name buildings without havingpositive ID on the individual buildings. All the high rises arestanding but there is some structural damage to several. Pleaseforgive me if I have a name mixed up. The buildings directly acrossfrom the convenience store which sits next to some tennis courts -I believe this to be Perdido Towers. These condos do have whatappears to be damage on the east side of each building. The damageis in the area of the 3rd and 4th floor on each building. Atremendous amount of water appears to have flowed around thebuildings.

To the west – directly across from the tennis courts – itappears that the small building between the main buildings is goneor maybe this is a pool area and just been wash through. There is atremendous amount of sand in the parking lot. Main buildings lookintact.

To the east the condos with the parking garages in the parkinglot. The buildings seem to be intact but with window damage. Theparking garages are still standing. Would these be Windward or asimilar name?

No information about the gulf side of any of thesebuildings.

MARSEILLES – I believe this is the double high rise east of thePerdido Towers area. The west one is completed the East one isunder construction Marseilles is standing – both buildings – butthere appears to be a lot of sand in the first floor area. My guesswould be several feet of sand as the distance between the top ofarchways and the floor seemed short. All the fences are gone. Icannot tell you anything about windows. No information on the Gulfside.

MOLOKAI – Are these located across the street and west ofMarseilles? Those buildings are standing and roofs look intact.

PERDIDO DUNES – All six are standing with roofs intact – noinformation on the gulf side.

SPANISH KEY – No information.

Back to the east side of Eden.

COLONY, INDIGO, MARABELLA AREA – no information but all werestanding.

HOUSES EAST OF EDEN – The Ludlow house 300 yards east of Eden.There is a two story house standing. The roof on the highest peakis intact but there may be some problem with the roof on the lowerlevel. This house is just west of the pink and blue house with thetower (which is standing) but the house I am talking about is thefirst house before Eden. The other house along there are standingas well is what might be the Beach House (if it is in that line ofstructures between Eden and the State Park. I cannot tell youanything about damage. There was a tremendous amount of washbetween Eden and the first house (Ludlow?). The road may begone.

AREA EAST OF EDEN AND ON TO HOLIDAY HARBOR/LOST KEY – I wish Ihad video of the ole river side on past Eden and on to HolidayHarbor and Lost Key but I do not.

BACK BAY CONDO AT ORANGE BEACH – I looked at this one closelyfor a friend but did not examine others in the Orange Beach area.It appears to be in very good shape. The pavilion in front of thepool is still standing as is the deck area around the filterequipment. The benches along to seawall are also still in place.Several boats appeared to remain at their moorings.

OVERALL PERDIDO KEY SITUATION – Let me say, in some of myearlier posts I mentioned that some buildings appeared structurallysound. That does not mean there was no damage, I mean there was notobvious damage and the roofs were intact. I could not tell anythingabout foundation areas.

Hope I did not mislead anyone. It is bad there folks andundoubtedly wash throughs of the lower levels of buildings. But theisland is not wiped clean as a few posts indicated on Thursday.Many of the wood structures are still standing. Believe it or not,I noticed a couple of cranes still standing at least oneconstruction site near the Orange Beach/west Perdido key area.

Sorry that I cannot upload the video tape. We newspaper folks donot know much about digitizing video tape. If my staff can figure away to do so, I will post it to this web site.