Tropical Storm Sally downed trees, roads and homes and struck lightning, allegedly killing one person, as the former storm spread south-east of the US with torrential rain on Wednesday.
Sally made overnight landfall as a Category 2 hurricane in the border 2 with Florida along the Gulf coasts, Alabama.
The National Hurricane Center said the slow-moving Sally, which later turned into a tropical storm, then spread to southern Alabama and parts of Florida, where heavy rains occurred.
NH warns, “Terrible and deadly flooding continues in Florida Panahle and parts of southern Alabama.”
According to the news site AL.com, US media reported a death in the coastal city of Orange Beach, Alabama, but Mayor Tony Kennan said he had no further details.
The worst floods were reported some 30 miles (50 kilometers) east of the city of Pensacola, Florida, with a population of about 52,000.
The streets of downtown resemble lakes with cars submerged by whitecaps above the water of their wheels and wind gusts.
Pensacola police tweeted, “Flooding on roadways and intersections as well as dangerous debris in roadways (places) has become very high.” “Please stay off the roadways.”
Residents of Northwest Florida were expecting rain and wind, but were largely caught off guard when Sally swiftly turned east and came in for a direct hit.
There was no time left for people to collect food or water, let alone cover windows or place sandbags in front of doors.
Pensacola resident Jeff Gardner said his family was surprised that we found ourselves inside the storm.
The 47-year-old AFP said, “You just sit there thinking if you know, your house is going to break down.” Although his house was not destroyed, he said “there was a strong wind blow all night.”
The new Three Mile Bridge over Pensacola Bay suffered extensive damage with a missing section, and had to be closed.
At 8:00 a.m. (0000 GMT Thursday), Sally had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (75 kilometers per hour), the NHC said, warning that “some tornadoes” were in northern Florida and parts of southern Georgia Can be in
NHC stated that Sally was crawling north-east at a speed of seven mph.
The storm was expected to weaken as it moved more inland from Wednesday to Thursday and became a tropical depression overnight.
According to the tracking site Poweroutage, more than 515,000 homes and businesses in Alabama and Florida have lost power.
“Nobody was ready for Cat 2”
David Trana, 57, of Navarre, a town near Pensacola, said he and his neighbors did not climb into their homes because they did not anticipate the trajectory of the storm to move so much to the east or be stronger for it . .
“No one was ready for Cat 2,” said Trana, whose house luckily survived without any damage. “The forecast for the cone and the strength of the storm did not indicate that it would hit us so hard.”
NHC said Sally hit the Gulf Coast with a speed of about 35 mph, about 35 miles west of Pensacola.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, who declared a state of emergency on Monday before the storm arrived, warned residents that it might take time to recover.
“Hurricane Sally has been a slow-moving storm, which only adds to some natural delays in restoring power, water and other essential services,” Ivey said.
Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for the county northwest of Florida. The state activated hundreds of National Guard and rescue teams before the storm struck.
This year there have been so many tropical storms in the Atlantic that the United Nations World Meteorological Organization, which names the temperature, is about to run out of names for only the second time in history.
The last time was in 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.
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