Black Pensacola Neighborhood Took Massive Hit from Hurricane Sally

“PENSACOLA, Fla. — Wendy Evil, 52, spent Thursday morning picking through her drenched belongings. Her house, her yard, her . . . everything was flooded.

“I am just so destroyed,” she said.

Evil holed up for Hurricane Sally in the one-story home she shares with her fiance, Kenneth Gibbes, and her three grandchildren, just west of downtown Pensacola. The storm’s wobbly path made it difficult to assess how bad things might get here in the Wedgewood neighborhood, a low-lying area that has traditionally been home to African American families.

The fortified downtown area of Pensacola, which has received significant attention and hurricane-proofing in recent years, saw significant flooding this week, but its high waters receded quickly as the storm passed early Wednesday and the tide went out. Wedgewood, on the other hand, is nearly defenseless against storm surge off the Gulf of Mexico, and its waters do not go away so quickly.”

Ashley Cusick reports for the Washington Post September 17, 2020.