Sunday, September 04, 2005


Hurricans Katrina slams Battleship Memorial Park


USS News
August 29, 2005

USS ALABAMA Battleship Memorial Park has suffered immense damage from Hurricane Katrina as the killer storm ripped through the Central Gulf Coast area during the morning hours on Monday, August 29, 2005. A storm surge of at least 10 feet coupled with triple digit winds has dealt the Park a crippling blow. The unofficial surge is the largest ever recorded in Mobile Bay.

Initial damage assessments show that Battleship ALABAMA (BB-60) has shifted position and is listing some 5+/- degrees to the portside or landside. The aft concrete gangway leading up to the ship has been critically damaged. The Aircraft Pavilion has significant damage to all sides and may be a complete loss. Many aircraft and displays inside the Pavilion have been severely damaged. Submarine USS DRUM (SS-228) has apparently suffered little, if any, damage.

Although the Pavilion and Gift Shop were completely boarded for protection, Katrina’s winds, with a 108 mile-per-hour blast recorded at the Park while the Wind Gauge was still operational, ripped the boards from both buildings. Breaches to the Pavilion exterior are numerous. The Gift Shop glass walls were broken, with two feet plus of water in the building, which houses the Ticket Office, Gift Shop, Inventory Stock Room, and Snack Bar.

As this report is being written in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane passing through Mobile, a minimum of five feet of water covers the entire Park as well as Battleship Parkway. Water is lapping at the bottom of the I-10 bridges. Downtown Mobile has severe flooding.

The entire Battleship family, which includes Park employees, Battleship Commission members, and especially her World War II crewmen, are optimistic about the Park's recovery. Park officials have pledged a full restoration to make the Park bigger and better in light of this natural disaster.

A more detailed release will be posted after a more in-depth analysis when water goes down in the Park and Internet access is available.


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