Gulf pier damaged by Ida

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (AP) - The longest fishing pier on the Gulf
of Mexico will be closed indefinitely after being damaged by waves
from Tropical Storm Ida.

Park Assistant Superintendent Trey Myers said 109 deck panels
were affected by strong waves from the storm. Some were moved just
an inch while others were entirely blown out.

The panels are designed to dislodge during storms.

One of the nearly 400-pound panels fell and broke a water main.

State Parks Division Director Mark Easterwood said the pier's
"blowout" panels worked as designed.

But he said that considering Ida was a minimal storm, the amount of damage - especially to wiring and lighting - was disappointing.

The new pier opened in July, replacing one that was destroyed by
Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

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