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Hurricane Ivan shifted the migratory patterns of some northern snowbirds, including RVers, from the Alabama coastline to southern Mississippi, according to Biloxi’s Sun Herald.
A stretch of coastal land between Gulf Shores, Ala., and Navarre, Fla., was hit hard. In addition to lost properties, ongoing reconstruction has caused some snowbirds to find alternate locations.
For eight years Vernon Hildebrandt and his wife, Virginia, had wintered in either Gulf Shores or Orange Beach, Ala. But this year they’re in Gulfport, Miss.
Recently they drove to the Alabama coastal community to see the condo where they use to stay. It was heavily damaged by Hurricane Ivan, as were so many of the other buildings and parks.
Misty Velasquez, director of marketing for the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the bureau has received more calls this year than last. She said some of it can be attributed to the hurricane damage.
Managers of several RV parks in southern Mississippi also feel their business has been bolstered by snowbirds searching for a new roost.