Hurricane Sally Heads Toward Gulf Coast

Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama prepare for more rain and flooding.

September 15, 2020

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Slow-moving Hurricane Sally is expected to make landfall somewhere along the Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama coasts and western Florida Panhandle by tomorrow morning as a Category 1 or 2 hurricane, less than three weeks behind Hurricane Laura, which caused widespread damage to Louisiana.

The National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning from Grand Isle, Louisiana, eastward to Navarre, Florida, including Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas and metropolitan New Orleans. Hurricane conditions with winds of 74 mph or greater are expected in some parts of this area today, according to Weather.com.

Tropical storm warnings are in effect in parts of Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle, and storm surge warnings are also in effect from Port Fourchon, Louisiana, to the Okaloosa/Walton County line in Florida.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency. In New Orleans, officials have ordered residents living outside the levee protection system to evacuate.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves signed a preliminary state of emergency Sunday. The storm "is probably going to persist over most portions of the state for basically 48 hours,” he said.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey ordered all of the state’s Gulf Coast beaches to close yesterday at 3 p.m. and recommended evacuations of flood-prone areas south of Interstate I-10.

“The bottom line continues to be that Sally is expected to be a dangerous slow-moving hurricane near the coast of southeastern Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama during the next two to three days,” the National Hurricane Center reported yesterday.

Meteorologists predicted catastrophic flooding. Coastal parts of Gulf states are preparing for heavy rainfall, and Sally’s center is expected to pass east of New Orleans. That means Mississippi's Gulfport and Biloxi areas may see most of the wind, rain and storm surge.

Hardware and grocery stories are stocked, but at least one store manager said he’s not seeing a crush of customers. “I think a lot of the folks were still stocked up when Marco and Laura come up because it was a near miss, but a lot of folks got prepared for that,” said Bill Collins, manager of a Gulfport hardware store.

Yesterday afternoon, 100 mph winds with gusts of 117 mph were recorded at the Viosca Knoll offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico, with 20 foot seas being reported from buoy 42040, Rob Perillo, chief Meteorologist at KATC Lafayette, Louisiana, tweeted.

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