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Remembering Opal

Published on October 4, 2007 by Sherri Dodsworth under Cape San Blas

Hurricane Opal approaches the Gulf Coast in 1995Hard to believe it’s been 12 years since Hurricane Opal passed through our area but it arrived mid-morning on October 4, 1995. Although the eye came ashore in the Fort Walton Beach as a category 3 storm with winds of 115 mph and gusts to 140, we were close enough to feel the effects on the Cape.

The rocks at Stumphole today are perhaps the most lasting of Opal’s legacy. That was the first time Cape San Blas Road was breeched and the erosion in that area from the storm was amazing. Prior to Opal there was a small village-like cluster of simple beach cottages lining the beach there, and sea-oats filled dunes. It was an absolutely breathtaking vista as you rounded the curve just past the pines and suddenly there was the most beautiful stretch of beach. I remember always feeling as I rounded that curve, “Now I’m back on the Cape.”

This is one of the great lessons learned from living here. Because our lovely Cape is ever changing, she reminds us to savor each day and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us here and now.

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