Ns News Online Desk: Extensive flooding and dozens of rescues were reported along the Gulf Coast on Wednesday morning after Hurricane Sally roared ashore in Alabama, bringing torrential rain that threatens to spread further inland.Sally has since weakened to a tropical storm, but dangerous flooding is expected to continue, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Maximum sustained winds dropped to around of 70 mph by the afternoon, and the storm was about 30 miles north-northwest of Pensacola, Fla., heading north-northeast at an agonizingly slow 5 mph.
The hurricane center forecast “catastrophic and life-threatening flooding along portions of the north-central Gulf Coast,” with up to 35 inches of rain expected in parts of the region. As the storm turned northeast, the National Weather Service discontinued a storm surge warning for areas between Dauphin Island, Ala., and the Alabama-Florida border.
LIVE UPDATES: HURRICANE SALLY MAKES LANDFALL IN ALABAMA AS CATEGORY 2 STORM
As the storm churned inland after making landfall as a Category 2 storm near Gulf Shores, Ala., damage reports were coming in from across the area.The Baldwin County Emergency Management Agency in Alabama reported an “extremely dangerous situation,” as major flooding was reported in the area as well as “severe widespread damage.”If you are on high ground above flooded areas, being prepared to stay where you are may be the best protection,” officials stated in an emergency alert.Officials in Florida’s Panhandle have shut down Interstate 10 at Escambia Bay Bridge near Pensacola due to sustained high winds Wednesday morning.
Multiple roads were also shut down due to flooding in the Panhandle.White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Wednesday morning the White House and Federal Emergency Management Agency are “fully engaged” in the disaster, citing President Trump’s issuance of emergency declarations for the affected states.