Devastating Hurricane Ivan & Hurricane Sally Anniversary September 16th

Ivan Visible Satellite

Saturday is the anniversary of powerful Hurricane Ivan. Ivan caused significant damage to much of Alabama, with numerous trees and power lines down from the coast northward into the Tennessee Valley. Ivan made landfall on September 16, 2004 very close to Gulf Shores, Alabama as a high-end category strong category 3 hurricane. Ivan maintained hurricane status as far north as Uniontown before being downgraded to a strong tropical storm.

Ivan Peak Winds

Ivan caused extensive damage across nearly all of Central Alabama, with winds of 60 to 80 MPH south of a line from Emelle to Greensboro to Marion. There were some wind gusts near 90 MPH around Linden and Demopolis. I remember Ivan personally, as I was living in Linden at the time. We didn’t have power at my home in Linden for 6 days. Some people in that area didn’t have power for over 2 weeks. The most drastic experience from that storm came from the constant sound of trees snapping and wind roaring through the trees; in-fact, in some of the higher gusts, it sounded similar to a jet engine. There were many others in the area that reported that similar sound.

Winds in the Tuscaloosa area ranged between 50 and 60 MPH. With very heavy rain, Ivan’s winds brought down many trees. As soil becomes saturated, it is easier for winds to bring down trees. Rain was another big deal from Ivan, with the highest rainfall total coming from Birmingham, with a rainfall total of 9.81 inches.

Saturday is also the anniversary of Hurricane Sally of September 16th of 2020, which by coincidence made landfall in the same spot at the same time near Gulf Shores as a powerful category 2 hurricane. Winds had increased to 110mph just prior to landfall, making it nearly a major hurricane at landfall. Above is our coverage of Hurricane Sally on TV and facebook live.

Hurricane Sally produced a tremendous amount of tree and powerline damage in extreme southwest Alabama during the slow northward moving circulation.

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Richard Scott
WVUA Chief Meteorologist

Categories: Alabama News, Featured, Weather-Blog