Hurrican Sally made landfall before dawn this morning in Gulf Shores, Alabama, about 30 miles from the Florida line, as a dangerous Category 2 Storm packing 105-mph winds.
Slowing moving inland at only 3 mpg, flooding from her unrelenting rains swept up cars and washed out bridges, one being a section of the newly built Three Mile Bridge connecting Pensacola with Gulf Breeze. After hours of flooding, it slowly picked up a bit of speed as it rolled over land, but was still only moving at 5 mph as of late morning. It has now weakened to a Category 1, as it crawls north-northeast near the Alabama-Florida border.
More than 500,000 homes and businesses were without power in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi. Those numbers were expected to rise as Sally moved deeper inland. More than 2 feet of rain was measured near Naval Air Station Pensacola, with one spotter reporting 30 inches, the National Weather Service in Mobile/Pensacola said. And it was still raining.
Even though Sally is weakening in terms of wind speed, the torrential rainfall is extremely dangerous, falling at 4 inches per hour in parts of Alabama and Florida. Hurricane Sally’s latest path shows the storm tracking northeast. After Wednesday, remnants of Sally will continue to inch inland toward Atlanta, where up to ` foot of rain is possible.
As the storm continues into Thursday and Friday, western South Carolina into western and central North Carolina can expect up to 4 to 6 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 9 inches. Southeast Virginia could get 2 to 5 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 7 inches.
President Donald Trump issued emergency declarations for parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on Monday. States of emergency were also issued in Florida counties along the western part of the Panhandle, and in Alabama.
Sally is the eighth named storm to make landfall in the continental U.S. this year, the most through Sept. 16 in recorded history, surpassing the seven storms of 1916. The record for most continental U.S. landfalls in a single Atlantic season is nine, also set in 1916.
This is an ongoing storm and will be updated, as necessary.