Story at a glance
- More than 2 feet of rain fell over Pensacola, Fla., after Sally made landfall early Wednesday.
- Rescue crews worked to pull people from their damaged homes in Baldwin County, Ala., Wednesday morning as the storm caused severe damage and left hundreds of thousands of people in the area without power.
- Rainfall totals of 10 to more than 30 inches are possible from Mobile Bay, Ala., to Tallahassee, Fla.
Hurricane Sally made landfall early Wednesday near Gulf Shores, Ala., as a Category 2 storm and is now slamming Southern, Ala., and the Florida Panhandle with torrential rain, prompting the need for water rescues in neighborhoods inundated with water.
“Historic and catastrophic flooding, including widespread moderate to major river flooding, is unfolding,” the National Hurricane Center warned.
The Montgomery Advertiser reports rescue crews worked to pull people from their damaged homes in Baldwin County, Ala., Wednesday morning as the storm caused severe damage and left hundreds of thousands of people in the area without power.
“There's two flash flood emergencies currently in affect for coastal Baldwin over to Fort Walton Beach,” David Eversole, a senior forecaster with the National Weather Service in Mobile, said, according to the outlet.
“Those products are the result of water in homes and people having to be rescued. It’s a rare product, a flash flood emergency. I’ve only seen about a dozen issued,” he said, adding “We know people are being rescued and we know there is severe property damage.”
The Baldwin County Emergency Management Agency is advising residents to stay home due to downed trees and flooded roads, and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey urged those in her state impacted by Sally to heed the warning of local officials and experts.
“Please, please refrain from getting on our roads to go check on storm damage unless you absolutely have to; even then, I urge everyone to use all caution. The best thing is for people to remain home if at all possible,” Ivey said Wednesday.
In Florida, Escambia County first responders carried out several flood water rescues in the southwest part of the county after Sally quickly dumped more than 2 feet of water in the Pensacola area.
“We anticipate the evacuations could literally be in the thousands,” David Morgan, sheriff of Florida’s Escambia County, said of rescues occurring in flooded neighborhoods, according to CNN.
Power has been knocked out for more than 500,000 customers in Alabama and Florida alone, according to PowerOutage.us.
Rainfall totals of 10 to more than 30 inches are possible from Mobile Bay, Ala., to Tallahassee, Fla.
Sally weakened to a tropical storm with winds of 70 mph Wednesday afternoon, according to the National Hurricane Center.
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