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Florida and Alabama RV parks and campgrounds are assessing damage after several RV parks in the Gulf Shores, Alabama area were closed and others were without water, power or sewer service after Hurricane Sally swept through the area.
“Fortunately, these closures are expected to be only very temporary,” said Bobby Cornwell, executive director of the Florida and Alabama Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, adding, “We are still waiting to hear from some parks that are right on the coast where the storm came in.”
Luxury RV Resort and Sugar Sands RV Resort in Gulf Shores were both closed due to the temporary loss of utilities, with Luxury RV Resort reporting wind damage to its roof. However, Island Retreat RV Park, also in Gulf Shores, planned to reopen as soon as power is restored. While the park reported downed trees and fencing and lots of storm debris, its buildings were OK, Cornwell said.
Parks further north in Alabama, such as Montgomery South RV Park in Hope Hull, were operating without any problems. Carson Village in Birmingham, for its part, has RV sites available and can accommodate evacuees, Cornwell said.
Meanwhile, most RV parks and resorts in the Florida Panhandle appear to have survived the storm and are continuing to operate, although some reported flipped RVs and damage due to falling trees. Pensacola RV Resort already has power restored and is fully operational. “They are fortunate and said they have customers from all over who are helping with debris and cleanup,” Cornwell said, quoting the park manager, who told him the park has received 147 calls from insurance adjusters and contractors looking for available sites. Many RV parks in the area are full.
Rob Moorman, owner of Sunburst RV park in Milton, Fla., reported that his heavily wooded property had lots of fallen trees and debris. “We our without power throughout the whole park,” he said. “We have no injuries and we have lost no buildings. Praise God. We do have many of our guests helping our staff with the clean up. The power company is understandably unavailable. It is not known when the power will be restored. As of today, we are unable to accommodate any new guests until then. Once we have power, we will be back up quickly. It may take longer to get the pools and common areas back up.”
Other Florida Panhandle park operators said they got through the storm with minimal damage. “We had no severe damage, just lots of rain,” said Pat O’Neill, general manager of Camp Gulf in Miramar Beach. “We had some flooding, but are pumping the water out. We had a temporary loss of power to some beachfront sites.”“We feel lucky,” Cornwell said, summarizing the situation in Florida and Alabama, based on initial reports. “There are some exceptions, but, fortunately, it appears as though the majority of the RV parks in southern Alabama and almost all RV parks in northwest Florida are OK and are open for business.”