BALDWIN COUNTY, AL - Gulf Shores is a coastal area that has experienced flood inundation, erosion, and hurricane hazards. Hurricanes pose a great risk to development along the coast and endanger lives and property with high winds, wave action, and flooding. In 1980, following the Hurricane Frederick disaster, several large prime oceanfront lots in the City of Gulf Shores were purchased with Federal funds under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) former Section 1362 Property Acquisition Program.
Under the Property Acquisition Program, FEMA could purchase flood-damaged properties and provide owners with the opportunity to relocate. The community had to accept title to the property and manage it for open space purposes. The property acquired under Section 1362 was previously occupied by commercial establishments. It is currently being used as open space for a public beach.
In 1998, Gulf Shores was subjected to coastal surge and flooding during Hurricane Georges. The absence of businesses along the immediate shoreline in this area resulted in a significant avoidance of damages and the resulting economic losses. The relocation of properties out of this area not only will prevent further suffering and personal losses, but will also reduce future costs for responding to and recovering from flood disasters.