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September 17, 2020

Hurricane Sally drenches US Gulf Coast

Top Story

September 17, 2020

MOBILE, United States: Sluggish Hurricane Sally was dumping torrential amounts of rain on the US Gulf Coast on Wednesday and threatening "historic and catastrophic" flooding in parts of Alabama and Florida.

The slow-moving storm made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane overnight and has since lingered over coastal Alabama and the Florida panhandle. Residents of some areas were grappling with power outages, downed trees and flooded streets and homes as Sally drenched swathes of the coast with copious amounts of rain.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said some isolated pockets could receive as much as 35 inches of rain. "Historic and catastrophic flooding is unfolding along and just inland of the coast from west of Tallahassee, Florida, to Mobile Bay, Alabama,” it said.

At 10:00 am (1400 GMT), Sally had maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour, the NHC said, and storm surge warnings were in effect for parts of the coast along with tornado warnings. Sally was moving towards the north-northeast at five miles (eight kilometers) per hour, the NHC said. It was expected to weaken as it moved further inland and become a tropical depression by Thursday morning.

More than 500,000 homes and businesses in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi have lost power, according to the tracking site poweroutage.us.