Hurricane Sally made landfall in Alabama on Wednesday with winds of 165 km / h (105 mph), flooding homes and trapping people at high tide along the Gulf of Mexico coast.
| 09/16/2020 | ionicons-v5-c11: 10 | AP |
The meteor’s vortex was still moving inland – at 5 km / h (3 mph), as slow as a human walking – and could cause dangerous flooding from the northeast strip of Florida to Mississippi and beyond. for the next few days.
The hurricane made landfall at 4:45 a.m. near Gulf Shores, Alabama, after hitting a stretch of coastline from Pensacola Beach, Florida, to Dauphin Island, Alabama for hours.
It hit the nearby cities of Mobile, Alabama, and Pensacola, Florida, two cities whose metropolitan areas have a combined population of nearly 1 million people.
Unbelievable flooding in downtown Pensacola. This is on Jefferson at the Holiday Inn Express and Pensacola Little Theater. Cars are almost completely submerged. People are standing on the hotel porch trapped. @NWSMobile @pnj pic.twitter.com/Stu45JlI3Y
– Annie Blanks (@AnniePNJ) September 16, 2020
Emergency officials in Alabama and Florida reported flash floods that inundated many homes.
Emergency crews pulled several people out of flooded houses. In Escambia County, which includes Pensacola, more than 40 were rescued, including a family of four that was found in a tree, Sheriff David Morgan said.
« There are entire communities that we will have to evacuate, » Morgan said. « It is going to be a tremendous operation for the next few days. »
More than 61 centimeters (2 feet) of rain was recorded near Naval Air Station Pensacola, and the National Weather Service reported a flood nearly one meter (3 feet) on the streets of downtown Pensacola.
« It’s not common to start measuring rainfall in feet, » said National Weather Service forecaster David Eversole in Mobile, Alabama. « Sally It moves very slowly so it keeps hitting and hitting and hitting the area with tropical rain and powerful winds. It’s a nightmare ».
Sally It is the second hurricane to hit the Gulf Coast in less than three weeks and the latest hit in one of the busiest hurricane seasons ever recorded, so frenzied that forecasters have nearly filled the entire alphabet of storm names while they are still missing. two and a half months to go. At the beginning of the week, Sally it was one of five storms that spun simultaneously across the Atlantic, like charms on a bracelet.
Like the wildfires raging on the West Coast, the onslaught of hurricanes has focused attention on climate change, which scientists say is causing slower, more rainy, more powerful and more destructive storms.
In Orange Beach, Alabama, at least 50 people were rescued from flooded homes and taken to shelters, Mayor Tony Kennon reported.
« We have some people that we just couldn’t get to because the water is too high, » Kennon said. « But they are safe in their homes and as soon as the water recedes, we will rescue them. »
Sally It made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane, then weakened and was classified as a Category 1 meteor by midmorning, which is still dangerous, with winds of 130 km / h (80 mph). Forecasters warned that heavy rains will continue through Thursday as the storm moves inland over Alabama and into central Georgia.
For its part, Tropical Storm Teddy became a hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 160 kilometers (100 miles) per hour, the National Hurricane Center said.
The system was expected to gain strength over the next few days, and could reach category 4 on Thursday.
Teddy was 1,335 kilometers (820 miles) east of the Lesser Antilles. Its hurricane-force winds extended 25 miles (40 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds reached 175 miles (281 km).