DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (WKRG) — Dauphin Island residents are no stranger to the devastation hurricanes and tropical storms can bring, but many of the homes and businesses on the island aren’t boarded up.
The West End Beach on Dauphin Island closed ahead of Nate. Erosion was close to taking out part of the roadway. It’s just one of the ways people on the island are preparing for the storm.
“I think more people today are more in tuned to what to do as far as taking care of what they need to do,” said Janson Graham, Owner of Ship & Shore.
Graham plans to board up his store, but not before customers get last minute supplies.
“We’re doing everything we can to prepare and hopefully help the islanders with batteries, flashlights and ice,” he said. “We have a generator here so hopefully that will work. We’ll probably be one of the only places open’ here the next several days.”
Down the beach, Bret Webb, a professor at the University of South Alabama, is preparing for the storm in a different way.
“We are deploying about 11 storm surge and wave gauges, and another six storm surge gauges to look at the change of water levels and waves across the island during a storm surge event,” Webb said.
The data he gathers will be used in part to improve models used for flood mapping and predicting storm surge. He believes Nate won’t be a big storm, but preparing regardless is important because of the uncertainty of a hurricane.
“There is always a sense… We’re always kinda waiting for the next big one,” Webb said. “We don’t know when it’s going to occur but we know it’s out there and eventually it will happen.”