Saturday October 24th, 2020 11:09PM

Sally's threat: 'Potentially historic' floods, fierce winds

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WAVELAND, Miss. (AP) — Hurricane Sally, one of four storms churning simultaneously in the Atlantic, moved closer to the Gulf Coast on Monday with winds of 100 mph (161 kph) and heavy rain as forecasters warned of “potentially historic” flooding and governors declared states of emergency.

Sally once appeared to have New Orleans in its sights and it was still moving toward the tip of southeast Louisiana late Monday. But forecasters continued to nudge the track eastward throughout the day, and now expect the storm to blow ashore farther west, near the Mississippi-Alabama state line.

Sally was expected to produce between 8-16 inches (20-41 centimeters) of rain from the Florida Panhandle to southeastern Mississippi through mid-week, with 2 feet (.61 meters) of rain possible in isolated spots. There also was a possibility of tornadoes in the Panhandle and south Alabama late Monday and early Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center said in its public advisory.

“This is the real deal, and it deserves your attention,” Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves wrote on Twitter. “Be smart. Prepare for worst. Pray for the best,” he said.

Hurricane warnings stretched from Grand Isle, Louisiana, to Navarre, Florida.

President Donald Trump tweeted late Monday that he was closely monitoring “extremely dangerous Hurricane Sally.” Trump urged residents to “be ready and listen to State and Local Leaders!” Earlier Monday, the president issued an emergency declaration for parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, an action that authorizes federal emergency officials to coordinate disaster relief efforts and provide emergency assistance to the affected areas.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey sought the presidential declaration after the National Weather Service in Mobile warned of the increasing likelihood of "dangerous and potentially historic flooding.” The weather service forecast that waters could rise as much as 9 feet (2.7 meters) above ground in large parts of the Mobile metro area. With a population of 400,000 people, it is among the largest metro areas along the Gulf Coast between New Orleans and Tampa, Florida. Some businesses in Mobile placed sandbags at their entrances in preparation.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in the Panhandle's westernmost counties, Escambia and Santa Rosa as the hurricane's outer bands began to lash the area. All along the storm-weary Gulf Coast, residents rushed to buy bottled water and other supplies ahead of the hurricane, which powered up to a Category 2 in the afternoon. Forecasters said sustained winds could reach 110 mph (177 kph), just below Category 3 strength, by landfall.

Seawater and sand swept onto roads on one end of Dauphin Island off the coast of Alabama, washing away several cars, Dauphin Island Mayor Jeff Collier said. He said about a dozen people had to be evacuated by Humvee.

In coastal Mississippi, water spilled onto roads, lawns and docks well before the storm’s arrival. All 12 casinos were ordered to shut down Monday afternoon. Reeves urged residents of low-lying areas to prepare to evacuate.

Reeves said Sally could dump up to 20 inches (51 centimeters) of rain on the southern part of the state. Shelters opened, but officials urged people who are evacuating to stay with friends or relatives or in hotels, if possible, because of the coronavirus.

The town of Kiln, Mississippi, where many homes sit high on stilts along the Jourdan River and its tributaries, was under a mandatory evacuation order, and it appeared most residents obeyed.

“It would be dumb to stay here,” said Michael “Mac” Mclaughlin, 72, a retiree who planned to ride out the storm in New Orleans with his girlfriend. He said his home was built in 2014 to withstand hurricanes, “but I just don’t want to be here when the water’s that deep and be stranded. That wouldn’t be smart.”

Jeremy Burke lifted things off the floor in case of flooding in his Bay Books bookstore in the Old Town neighborhood of Bay St. Louis, a popular weekend getaway from New Orleans, about 60 miles (95 kilometers) to the west.

“It’s turning into a ghost town,” he said.

Sally has lots of company during what has become one of the busiest hurricane seasons in history — so busy that forecasters have almost run through the alphabet of names with 2 1/2 months still to go.

For only the second time on record, forecasters said, five tropical cyclones swirled simultaneously in the Atlantic basin at one point Monday. The last time that happened was in 1971.

In addition to Sally were Hurricane Paulette, which passed over a well-fortified Bermuda on Monday and was expected to peel harmlessly out into the North Atlantic; and Tropical Storms Rene, Teddy and Vicky, all of them out at sea and unlikely to threaten land this week, if at all. Rene was downgraded to a trough of low pressure Monday evening.

Sally was about 130 miles (210 kilometers) south of Biloxi, Mississippi, on Monday night, moving at 3 mph (5 kph). The hurricane's sluggish pace could give it more time to drench the Mississippi Delta with rain and storm surge. Storm surge warnings stretched from Port Fourchon in Louisiana to the line between Okaloosa and Walton counties in Florida. Also included: lakes Pontchartrain, Maurepas and Borgne in the New Orleans area and Mobile Bay in Alabama.

On Aug. 27, Hurricane Laura blow ashore in southwestern Louisiana along the Texas line, well west of New Orleans, tearing off roofs and leaving large parts of the city of Lake Charles uninhabitable. The storm was blamed for 32 deaths in the two states, the vast majority of them in Louisiana.

More than 2,000 evacuees from Hurricane Laura remain sheltered in Louisiana, most of them in New Orleans-area hotels, Gov. John Bel Edwards said.

The extraordinarily busy hurricane season — like the catastrophic wildfire season on the West Coast — has focused attention on the role of climate change.

Scientists say global warming is making the strongest of hurricanes, those with wind speeds of 110 mph or more, even stronger. Also, warmer air holds more moisture, making storms rainier, and rising seas from global warming make storm surges higher and more damaging.

In addition, scientists have been seeing tropical storms and hurricanes slow down once they hit the United States by about 17% since 1900, and that gives them the opportunity to unload more rain over one place, as 2017’s Hurricane Harvey did in Houston.


Associated Press reporters Rebecca Santana in New Orleans; Seth Borenstein in Kensington, Maryland; Emily Wagster Pettus and Leah Willingham, in Jackson, Mississippi; Kim Chandler in Montgomery, Alabama; and Jeff Martin in Marietta, Georgia, contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Online - Georgia News
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Florida declares state of emergency in Panhandle
Shortly after Sally reached hurricane strength, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for the Panhandle’s two westernmost counties
9:40PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Sally's threat: 'Potentially historic' floods, fierce winds
Hurricane Sally is slowly closing in on the northern Gulf Coast with powerful winds and weather forecasters are warning of “potentially historic” flooding
9:36PM ( 15 minutes ago )
NFL reminds teams to follow sideline rules on face coverings
The NFL is reminding team personnel on the sidelines about the rules for wearing face coverings
9:06PM ( 45 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Court: Trump can end temporary legal status for 4 countries
A divided U.S. appeals court has ruled that the Trump administration can end humanitarian protections that have allowed hundreds of thousands of people from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti and Sudan to remain in the United States
8:00PM ( 1 hour ago )
LA Sheriff to politicians: emphasize trust in justice system
The Los Angeles County sheriff criticized elected officials, sports figures and civic leaders for “fanning the flames of hatred” as America grapples with racism and police brutality
7:49PM ( 2 hours ago )
California governor gently confronts Trump on climate
California Gov. Gavin Newsom was respectful with President Donald Trump about climate change during his visit to the state
7:30PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
South Dakota agency: AG reported hitting deer, but hit man
South Dakota investigators says that Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg reported hitting a deer with his car on Saturday night but actually killed a pedestrian whose body was not found until the next day
5:26PM ( 4 hours ago )
Netflix's ‘Cuties’ becomes target of politicized backlash
The backlash to the French independent film “Mignonnes,” or “Cuties,” started before it had even been released because of a poster that went viral for its provocative depiction of its young female actors
5:09PM ( 4 hours ago )
Daimler AG to pay $1.5B to settle emissions cheating probes
Automakers Daimler AG and subsidiary Mercedes-Benz USA have agreed to pay $1.5 billion to the U.S. government and California state regulators to resolve emissions cheating allegations
4:50PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Wildfires raise fight over climate change as Trump visits
Leaders in the Democratic-led West Coast states and President Donald Trump have clashed over the role of climate change as wildfires race through the region
4:28PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP: Feds probing in-custody death of Black man in Louisiana
Federal authorities say they are investigating the death of a Black man during what Louisiana State Police described as a struggle to take him into custody following a rural police chase last year
2:09PM ( 7 hours ago )
Slow-moving Hurricane Sally carrying a deluge to Gulf Coast
Storm-weary residents of the U.S. Gulf Coast are preparing for a new weather onslaught as Hurricane Sally churns toward them
12:45PM ( 9 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
Wildfires intensify economic pain in the West
The fires consuming the forests of California and Oregon and darkening the skies over San Francisco and Portland are also damaging a regional economy already singed by the coronavirus outbreak
2:19PM ( 7 hours ago )
Trump, Biden facing off on wildfires, climate change
President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden focused their presidential battle on the wildfire-scorched West Coast Monday
2:02PM ( 7 hours ago )
Russian opposition leader Navalny able to leave hospital bed
Doctors treating Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny say his condition has improved, and he is able to breathe on his own and briefly leave his bed at the Charite hospital in Berlin
12:37PM ( 9 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
All 12 casinos on Mississippi's Gulf Coast ordered closed
The Mississippi Gaming Commission has ordered all 12 casinos along the Gulf Coast to close as Hurricane Sally approaches
7:24PM ( 2 hours ago )
Trump issues emergency declaration for parts of Gulf Coast
President Donald Trump has issued an emergency declaration for parts of Louisiana and Mississippi as Hurricane Sally moves toward the northern U.S. Gulf Coast
6:54PM ( 2 hours ago )
Forecasters: Sally could approach major hurricane status
Forecasters say Sally is now an extremely dangerous Category 2 hurricane and could approach major hurricane strength as it nears the U.S. Gulf Coast
5:32PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online - Georgia News
The Latest: Florida declares state of emergency in Panhandle
Shortly after Sally reached hurricane strength, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for the Panhandle’s two westernmost counties
9:40PM ( 12 minutes ago )
NFL reminds teams to follow sideline rules on face coverings
The NFL is reminding team personnel on the sidelines about the rules for wearing face coverings
9:06PM ( 45 minutes ago )
Florida governor declares state of emergency in Panhandle
Shortly after Sally reached hurricane strength, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for the Panhandle’s two westernmost counties
8:48PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Biden vows to 'restore dignity for everyone'
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is promising to “restore dignity for everyone, especially the poor” if he defeats President Donald Trump in November
8:33PM ( 1 hour ago )
Terry Branstad, US ambassador to China, to leave next month
The U.S. ambassador to China will step down early next month, ending a three-year tenure marked by a trade war and increasingly bitter relations between the world’s two largest economies
8:21PM ( 1 hour ago )