Heavy rain and strong winds brought Mobile Bay up and onto the Causeway. It forced the Alabama Department of Transportation to shut down part of the Causeway this morning. It also made businesses make the tough decision to close. One of those businesses was the original Oyster House Restaurant.
“I had called Spanish Fort Police and they had said that ALDOT was closing the Causeway, and we really want to do it for safety of our employees and everyone involved,” said Jim Harrison, Original Oyster House General Manager.
Many drivers along the Causeway quickly found out they needed a high clearance vehicle.
“Having a truck’s made it easier,” said John Braswell, an Original Oyster House Employee. “I have to help people get out of here when we leave because they can’t get out in their cars. They had to park out in the street.”
For businesses on the Causeway, the sight is nothing new. The Oyster House has shut down twice already this year. Each day they are closed, about 45 employees are forced to stay home for the day. But not every place was shut down on the Causeway. Five Rivers Delta sits on higher ground and the gift shop was still open.
“We’re eight and a half years old and I’ve been here since then and there’s only been one time when they told us to go home because they thought it was going to flood both ends and we would be trapped in here!” said Cindy Renkert, a Five Rivers Delta Employee.
However, for many businesses, they were most concerned with being trapped in their parking lot.
“As you take a picture of our parking lot, it’s well under water,” said Harrison. “[It] actually almost looks like a small tropical storm out there.”