Perdio Key Information following fly over Friday Morning

Published 5:00 am Saturday, September 18, 2004

PERDIDO KEY FLA – Hurricane Ivan threw all of its weightThursday morning, striking the Perdido Key with the brutal force ofa category 3 hurricane.

PERDIDO KEY FLA – Sept 17, 2004 – Hurricane Ivan threw all ofits weight early Thursday morning, striking the Perdido Key areawith the brutal force of a category 3 hurricane. The destruction issevere but not complete, as the high-rise condos seemed to weatherthe storm quite well. Many of the private homes along the Key fromthe west end to the east end also survived with roofs intact butothers did not.

We flew over the Key Friday morning making several passes – twoalong the gulf side and one pass on the Ole River side. Thefollowing is a summary information on individual condo units takenfrom posts I made to the Pensacola News Journal Perdido Key forumover the past 24 hours after reviewing the tape in more detail.Please be aware that we were flying by at 100 plus mph so video isnot completely clear and unfortunately in some areas notrecognizable.

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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 from OrangeBeach.

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

EDEN CONDOMINIUM – Eden looks in remarkable good shape. I wasable to fly over it this morning. There does not appear to be anystructural damage and no beach erosion. We were flying at over 100mph so we could not see lots of details but did not see tale talesigns of curtains hanging out of windows on either the front sideor the back side. There was no debris field in the parking lot oron the street. It did not appear that the first floor units hadwashed through, although there is a lot of sand in the west parkinglot.

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.

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 see no structural damage. I find it hard to believe Eden lookedthat good but it does. I am sure 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. 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 east building looked muchbetter. Between Eden and the East building there is a build up ofsand and could be some wash through damage. I did not notice suchbetween the East and West building. Like Eden there was no debrisfield 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 bytoday said he did not think windows were blown out. I really cannottell for certain about the fourth floor there appear to be stormshutters of the first three floors on corner end next to Eden butwhat I think is the fourth floor I can see black in the same area.It is darker than the other areas that do not obviously have stormshutters. 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 the group of smaller condo are intact, one hasroof damage. The multi-colored houses in the gated community arestanding and I believe most if not all have their roofs.

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 knowing thebeing positive of the name. All the high rises are standing butthere is some damage to several. Please forgive me if I have a namemixed up. The buildings directly across from a convenience storewhich sits next to some tennis courts – I believe this to bePerdido Towers. These condos do have what appears to be damage onthe east side of each building. The damage is in the area of the3rd and 4th floor on each building. A tremendous amount of waterappears to have flowed around the buildings. Both buildings areintact but damaged.

To the west – the building directly across from the tenniscourts – it appears that the small building between the mainbuildings is gone or maybe this is a pool area and just been washthrough. There is a tremendous amount of sand in the parking lot.Main buildings look intact.

To the east, the condos with the parking garages in the parkinglot in front of the buildings seem to be intact but a lot of debrisin the parking lots. The parking garages are also still standing.Would these be Windward or a similar name?

No information about the gulf side of any of these buildings inthis area.

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

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 highrises are standing.

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 but the house I am talking about is the first house beforeEden. The other house along there are standing as well is whatmight be the Beach House (if it is in that line of structuresbetween Eden and the State Park). There are a number of structuresstill standing east of Eden. I cannot tell you anything aboutdamage. There was a tremendous amount of wash between Eden and thefirst house (Ludlow?). The road may be gone.

AREA EAST OF EDEN PAST THE STATE PARK AND ON TO HOLIDAYHARBOR/LOST KEY – I wish I had video of the ole river side on pastEden and on to Holiday Harbor and Lost Key but I do not.

BACK BAY CONDO AT ORANGE BEACH – I happen to take a lot of videoat this one due to some family ownership. It appears to be in verygood shape. The pavilion in front of the pool is still standing asis the deck area around the filter equipment. The benches along toseawall are also still in place. Several boats appeared to remainat 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 noglaring 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.