Hurricane Frederick – 1979

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“On the evening of September 12, 1979, Hurricane Frederic crossed the west end of Dauphin Island as a Category 4 hurricane. It then traveled northward along the Alabama-Mississippi state line.” Based on the track per NOAA, the farm would have been in the eye.

According to the National Weather Service…

  • Frederic was the first hurricane to directly strike Mobile County since the 1930s.
  • It set an all-time record low pressure at Mobile’s airport.
  • Damage costs were around $2.3 billion at the time.
  • It still had hurricane-force winds near Meridian, Mississippi.
  • Nearly a foot of rain fell in Jackson County, Mississippi.
  • Mobile Bay saw up to 10 feet of storm surge while some Gulf Beaches saw up to 15 feet.
  • A half a million people in the region evacuated and that helped to keep the death toll to around a half-dozen, directly from Frederic.
  • Some people were without electricity in Mobile for months.

Here’s the full story of Frederic from Mobile’s National Weather Service Office.”

USACE’s Video Documentary “Picking up the Pieces”.

From NOAA – Arrow shows the location of the Farm


“Shortly before 10 pm on September 12th, the northern eyewall of Frederic move ashore on Dauphin Island, AL. As the eye moved inland, it decreased in size to about 15 miles in diameter. The storm center crossed over the western end of Dauphin Island at 10 pm. An automated wind gust recorder (located at the top of the Dauphin Island Bridge), recorded a peak wind gust of 145 mph around 940pm. At landfall, Frederic was as strong Category 3 on the Saffir Simpson Hurricane Intensity Scale, raking the Mobile Bay area with winds gusting from 100 to 145 mph for several hours on the evening of September 12th through the early morning of September 13th. Hurricane wind gusts were experienced as far inland as Choctaw County, AL during the early morning hours of September 13th.”


The winds from Hurricane Frederic damaged or destroyed many homes and businesses. Many homes and businesses well inland suffered severe damage when large pine trees fell onto them or the roof structures failed. Along with peak wind gusts of 145 mph at the Dauphin Island Bridge, wind gusts of 97 mph from the east were recorded at Mobile Regional Airport at 1107 pm*. At midnight, Mobile County Civil Defense also reported measured wind gusts at 97 mph, along with massive damage in Mobile and surrounding areas. At midnight, wind gusts from the north at 98 mph were reported by Biloxi Civil Defense with north winds gusting to 127 mph at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, MS.

* Sundown Farms is 9.2 miles southwest of the Mobile Regional Airport.

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