GULF SHORES, AL; March 6, 2020 – It was 68° F, there was no ice on the water, but it felt as if there could have been. Young folks were down at the edge of the shoreline, a few wading, some playing volleyball, many just lying in the sun, determined to get a tan before the end of their vacations. But elderly folks sheltered themselves from the northerly wind behind a public building, soaking up the sun’s warmth, glad for the reprieve of shoveling snow back home.
Frigid north winds blew the tops off two to three-foot waves rolling onto the beach, and brought record cold temperatures to the Gulf Coast last night. Sandpipers, Seagulls and Pelicans didn’t seem to be adversly affected by the cold, but there were precious few humans anywhere near the beach.
Along the Bon Secour River, which flows into Mobile Bay in southern Alabama, there is a large fleet of deserted shrimp boats. Some are huge, some rather small, but they all have been abandoned. Hurricanes or tropical storms have severly damaged most of them. Speculation is that they are too damaged to repair (repairs will cost more than the boat is worth). Other possible reasons are that the shrimp fishery is too depleted and competition too intense, the boats have paid for themselves and owners are no longer interested in the grueling work of shrimping, but then who knows.
Regardless, The Alabama Abandoned and Derelict Vessel Fund, established June 2018 and managed by the Secretary of the Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency, is for payment of the seizure, removal, transportation, preservation, storage, advertisement, appraisal, and disposal of a derelict vessel. Effective June 1, 2018 Act 2018-179 relating to derelict and abandoned vessels, authorizes the removal of a vessel from the waters of Alabama under certain conditions by a law enforcement officer or a private property owner. Previously, a property owner was responsible for legal fees, and litigation required to remove a derelict vessel from his dock. The costs were prohibitive.
Lightening struck and knocked down a utility pole during the late evening hours Tuesday causing widespread power outage to a farm just west of Richmond, Illinois. Richmond is a small town about 70 miles northwest of Chicago.
Both lanes of Illinois route 173 were closed nearly three hours while a utility crew cleared downed power lines. Early morning traffic was backed up nearly an eighth of a mile in either direction. As of 2:30 this afternoon power still has not been restored to the affected farm, although crews are on site working to repair the damage.
As a result of this disastrous electrical outage residents on the farm have been deprived of highly informative radio and TV political advertising campaigns more than 12 hours, just days before the critical mid-term elections. This is not “Fake News,” however, despite the far reaching implications of this natural disaster; the white house thus far has failed to respond.
Residents of the farm have returned to their fields to resume the fall harvest and have been unavailable for comment.