Gulf Shores beachgoers preparing for storm impact

(WPMI) Gulf Shores beachgoers preparing for storm impact
(WPMI) Gulf Shores beachgoers preparing for storm impact

GULF SHORES, Ala. (WPMI) — Gulf Shores beach safety officials are taking no chances with Tropical Storm Barry churning up the coast.

Many visitors tried to enjoy one last beach day before getting out of the storms reach.

At a glance, it seemed like your typical windy beach day in Gulf Shores on Thursday.

But the pounding waves told a different story.

Tropical Storm Barry is already churning up the Gulf and creating rip currents, which prompted beach safety officials to close the waters.

Beachgoers have been watching the storm’s every move.

“We love coming down to the beach and seeing the water but it’s a little intense for us right here,” said beachgoer Desmond Simmons.

Simmons, his wife and 2 children came down from Mississippi for the week. They cut their trip short to avoid the worst of the weather.

“I started watching the Weather Channel and it said it was gonna get even worse, so we’re gonna have to go home,” Simmons said.

Double red flags may be flying, but many beachgoers took full advantage of the sunny weather.

That could soon change.

Baldwin EMA officials expect the outer bands of the storm to move through our area during the next few days.

“As these bands move through our area, they have the potential for hazards to be contained within these bands. We need to pay close attention to the watches and warnings as it relates to flooding, tornadic activity and certainly the rip currents,” said Zachary Hood, Baldwin County EMA Director.

Marcos Navarro’s son is playing in a youth baseball tournament in Orange Beach. Their trip home to Texas could happen as the worst conditions hit.

“It worries me. In New Orleans you can see it’s bad already, so it worries me because it’s a long drive,” Navarro said.

Lifeguards will be patrolling to make sure no one goes into the water. Violating that rule is punishable by an arrest or a fine.