Hurricane Isaac Deals Blow To Gulf Coast Businesses
Gulf Shores, Ala. (WHNT) – Not only have the beaches taken a hit from Hurricane Isaac, but so have the businesses along the Alabama gulf shore. Restaurants and stores locked their doors and shuttered their windows after Governor Robert Bentley ordered a mandatory evacuation for the area.
Tourists fled, and business dried up.
“The last two days it’s been like a ghost town in here,” said Judy Fortune, a manager at Hazel’s Seafood Restaurant along the main drag of Orange Beach. “We’ve had very little business. We stayed open more for the people who live here, the firemen and police, so they have a place to go eat.”
Fortune says she doesn’t know the exact numbers, but knows the restaurant has lost significant revenue this week, as they continue to pay employees to show up for work.
Down the coast in Gulf Shores, roads were blocked off and only residents allowed in. Businesses were forced to close.
Brad Cohen, event coordinator at The Hangout, a hotspot for tourists and locals, says while nobody likes lost business, Isaac couldn’t have hit at a better time.
“These are typically slow days for us, leading up to Labor Day,” said Cohen. “The important thing is that people know the beaches will be clear and the show will go on this weekend.”
Officials for the cities of Orange Beach and Gulf Shores held a press conference Wednesday morning, assuring visitors the beaches and skies would be clear in time for their last major holiday weekend of the year.
Residential streets were reopened and visitors welcomed back into the towns. Some residential streets and parking lots of businesses along Highway 59 saw minor flooding.
Despite brief power outages, the city’s restored and maintained power through the storm.