Ivan Continues to Make Trouble

Gulf Shores, AL – The National Weather Service says Hurricane Ivan could continue to make trouble for the Gulf Coast. Meteorologists say remnants of last week's storm have swung back down into the Gulf of Mexico and developed into a tropical storm. The tropical storm is kicking seas up several feet, posing a threat to fragile barrier islands and to beaches, particularly in Louisiana and Texas. Some offshore oil and gas crews have already headed home to avoid Ivan. A tropical storm warning was issued from the mouth of the Mississippi River in Louisiana west to Texas. A coastal flood warning, meanwhile, has been issued across the Alabama coast, all the way to the Florida Panhandle. Meanwhile...more than 90 percent of the people who lost power during Hurricane Ivan now have their electricity restored. But about 100-thousand customers are still in the dark. Alabama Power says it still has about 48-thousand customers without power. Alabama Electric Cooperatives, meanwhile, say they still need to restore power to almost 52-thousand homes and businesses. But those numbers are down from about one million total outages reported last week when Ivan made landfall. The hardest-hit area remains the Gulf Coast and the southwestern corner of the state. Alabama Power says about 74 percent of customers in the Mobile area now have power -- and officials hope that number will go up to 99 percent by Friday. And Governor Riley has told insurance companies to give consumers a 60-day grace period on non-payment of premiums for those affected by Hurricane Ivan. The Governor said yesterday that Ivan's victims need a chance to get their lives back together. He also pointed out that mail service has been slow -- and that some Alabamians can't even get home yet. The grace period began September 15th and runs through November 15th. To be eligible for the grace period, a person must have a Hurricane Ivan-related claim.