Trees Downed in Shalimar, Florida, as Sally Weakens to Tropical Storm

Pablo Tucker
September 18, 2020

Almost 600,000 homes and businesses were still without power on Thursday in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Georgia, according to

According to an 11 a.m. ET update, Teddy strengthed into a Category 3 storm on Thursday with maximum sustained winds of 120 miles per hour. The storm is moving about 5 miles per hour (8 kph). The state activated hundreds of national guards and rescue teams before the storm hit. Forecasters said Georgia could get up to a foot (30 centimetres), and SC 10 inches (25 centimetres). By late Wednesday, the floodwaters had started to recede in some areas, though the National Weather Service warned that extensive river flooding would be a concern through the weekend. Escambia officials urged residents to rely on text messages for contacting family and friends to keep cellphone service open for 911 calls.

Downtown Pensacola had almost 3 feet of water flooded the streets.

Utility crews and residents were at work along the Alabama and Florida coasts making repairs and clearing storm debris after Sally washed out roads and bridges and left dozens of boats pushed ashore. "It's just a nightmare". Forecasters have almost run through the alphabet of storm names with 2 1/2 months still to go. The storm is now churning in the central Atlantic and is expected to dissipate before reaching the Caribbean or the United States.

"This is kind of the initial salvo", Florida Gov Ron DeSantis said of the hurricane's onslaught, "but there is going to be more that you're going to have to contend with".

A few people cleaned up in Bristol Park, a creekside neighbourhood where as much as 4 feet (1.2 metres) of water filled brick homes north of Pensacola. Flooded cars are often a total loss due to damage to their electrical systems, he said.

"We had some leaks", said the mayor.

At least one death, in Alabama, was blamed on the hurricane.

"There were extreme cases where one-story homes were flooded and people were saying they were going to their attic", he said.

Streetlights were knocked out in downtown Mobile.

Sally turned some Pensacola streets into white-capped rivers early on Wednesday.

"We worked with the State Attorney's Office in prior incidences where we responded to natural disasters; they do not like looters", said Morgan.

When a rescue team arrived, "she was safe and sound with a neighbour but her house was destroyed", said group co-founder ErinMia Milchman.

Early Thursday, Sally was downgraded to a tropical depression but forecasters said the potential for flooding is still high. Hurricane Harvey, which hit Houston in 2017, is the best known - and most expensive - example of stalling.

Sally's crawl made it hard to predict where it would strike. After sunrise, choppy seawater covered what is normally 50 feet of beach.

The category-two hurricane dumped more than 600mm on some Gulf Coast towns, CNN reported. Low-lying properties in southeastern Louisiana were swamped by the surge. Water covered MS beaches and parts of the highway that runs parallel to them.

This heavy rate of rainfall would trigger flash flooding even with a quick-moving thunderstorm in many cases.

Hurricane Laura pummeled southwestern Louisiana on August 27.

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