As Hurricane Sally continues to move off the Gulf Coast, officials warned of “historic flooding” in some areas, as the storm is predicted to bring upward of 30 inches of rain in some spots.
The governors of Mississippi, Alabama, and Lousiana have declared emergencies and secured disaster relief from the federal government.
“As we continue making preparations for Hurricane Sally to impact Alabama, I thank President Trump and his Administration for approving our request so quickly. We will continue closely monitoring the developments today, and I urge everyone in the coastal areas south of I-10 and in low-lying areas to take all precautions and heed advice from weather experts and local officials. Please stay vigilant, Alabama,” said Gov. Kay Ivey in a statement on Monday night.
According to an update from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) as of 7 a.m. Tuesday, Sally is a Category 1 storm with 85 mph winds and is moving extremely slowly at 2 mph to the northwest.
Hurricane warnings and storm surge warnings were issued across the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The storm is forecast to make landfall near the Alabama-Mississippi state line, the NHC said.
“A northward turn is expected this afternoon, followed by a slow north-northeastward to northeastward motion tonight and continuing through Wednesday night. On the forecast track, the center of Sally will pass near the coast of southeastern Louisiana today, and make landfall in the hurricane warning area tonight or Wednesday morning,” the NHC said.
Because the storm system is slow-moving, Sally is expected to produce at least 10 to 20 inches of rain with amounts of 30 inches in some spots.
“Historic flooding is possible with extreme life-threatening flash flooding likely through Wednesday. In addition, this rainfall will lead to widespread moderate to major flooding on area rivers,” the NHC said.
Ivey, in her statement, added that the storm will likely greatly impact Alabama’s coastal areas.
“As projections for Hurricane Sally continue to develop, and as Alabama will likely receive significant impact from this system, I have requested a pre-landfall emergency declaration for the state. I just wrapped up a phone call with Acting DHS Secretary Wolf and FEMA Administrator Gaynor and asked them to expedite this request,” Ivey said. “The White House and Trump Administration have been extremely helpful as we have anticipated a potential hit from Sally. I thank President Trump for being a terrific partner for our state as we make preparations. My fellow Alabamians, please continue heeding all local warnings and stay weather aware.”