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The Latest on Sally: Florida governor warns of major river flooding

PENSACOLA, Fla. – Here are the latest developments on tropical weather:

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP)

Hurricane Sally lumbered ashore near the Florida-Alabama line Wednesday with 105 mph (165 kph) winds and rain measured in feet, not inches, killing at least one person, swamping homes and forcing the rescue of hundreds as it pushed inland for what could be a slow and disastrous drenching across the Deep South.

The death happened in Orange Beach, Alabama, according to Mayor Tony Kennon, who also told The Associated Press that one person was missing. Kennon said he couldn’t immediately release details.

Moving at just 3 mph (5 kph), or about as fast as a person can walk, the storm made landfall at 4:45 a.m. close to Gulf Shores, Alabama, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from Pensacola, Florida. It accelerated to a light jog as it battered the Pensacola and Mobile, Alabama, metropolitan areas encompassing nearly 1 million people.

Sally cast boats onto land or sank them at the dock, flattened palm trees, peeled away roofs, blew down signs and knocked out power to more than 540,000 homes and businesses. A replica of Christopher Columbus' ship the Nina that had been docked at the Pensacola waterfront was missing, police said.

Sally tore loose a barge-mounted construction crane, which then smashed into the new Three Mile Bridge over Pensacola Bay, causing a section of the year-old span to collapse, authorities said. The storm also ripped away a large section of a fishing pier at Alabama’s Gulf State Park on the very day a ribbon-cutting had been scheduled following a $2.4 million renovation.

By the afternoon, authorities in Escambia County, which includes Pensacola, said at least 377 people had been rescued from flooded areas. More than 40 people trapped by high water were brought to safety within a single hour, including a family of four found in a tree, Sheriff David Morgan said.

Authorities in Pensacola said 200 National Guard members would arrive Thursday to help. Curfews were announced in Escambia County and in some coastal Alabama towns.

Sally turned some Pensacola streets into white-capped rivers early Wednesday. Sodden debris and flooded cars were left behind as the water receded.

By early afternoon, Sally had weakened into a tropical storm. Its maximum sustained winds fell by Wednesday night to 45 mph (75 kph) and the National Weather Service said heavy rains were spreading to the north and east, into eastern Alabama and western Georgia.

At least eight waterways in south Alabama and the Florida Panhandle were expected to hit their major flood levels by Thursday. Some of the crests could break records, submerge bridges and flood some homes, the National Weather Service warned.

Morgan, the Escambia County sheriff, estimated thousands would need to flee rising waters in the coming days. Escambia officials urged residents to rely on text messages for contacting family and friends to keep cellphone service open for 911 calls.

“There are entire communities that we’re going to have to evacuate,” the sheriff said. “It’s going to be a tremendous operation over the next several days.”

West of Pensacola, in Perdido Key, Florida, Joe Mirable arrived at his real estate business to find the two-story building shattered. Digging through the ruins, Mirable pointed out a binder labeled “Hurricane Action Plan.”

“I think the professionals got this one wrong,” he said before the wind blew away his hat.

More than 2 feet (61 centimeters) of rain was recorded near Naval Air Station Pensacola, and nearly 3 feet (1 meter) of water covered streets in downtown Pensacola, the National Weather Service reported.

“It’s not common that you start measuring rainfall in feet,” said forecaster David Eversole.

Sally was the second hurricane to hit the Gulf Coast in less than three weeks and the latest to blow in during one of the busiest hurricane seasons ever. Forecasters have nearly run through the alphabet of storm names with 2 1/2 months still to go. At the start of the week, Sally was one of a record-tying five storms churning simultaneously in the Atlantic basin.

Like the wildfires raging on the West Coast, the onslaught of hurricanes has focused attention on climate change, which scientists say is causing slower, rainier, more powerful and more destructive storms.

An emergency crew rescued two people on Dauphin Island, Alabama, after the hurricane ripped the roof off their home and the rest of the house began to crumble. Mayor Jeff Collier said no one was injured.

In Orange Beach, Alabama, the wind blew out the walls in one corner of a condominium building, exposing at least five floors. At least 50 people were rescued from flooded homes and taken to shelters, Mayor Tony Kennon said.

“We got a few people that we just haven’t been able to get to because the water is so high,” Kennon said. “But they are safe in their homes. As soon as the water recedes, we will rescue them.”

Sally’s crawl made it hard to predict where it would strike. Just two days before landfall, the storm was forecast to hit New Orleans -- 140 miles (225 kilometers) west of where it came ashore.

So Robert Lambrisky and his husband were caught somewhat off guard when the hurricane shook their door before daybreak and forced rainwater inside their home in Sanders Beach near Pensacola.

“We had some warning, but this was just such a strange storm,” Lambrisky said. “So all of this preparing that you do, when you know the storm is coming, was something we only half did because we were convinced the storm wasn’t going to hit us.”

Sally’s effects were felt all along the northern Gulf Coast, affecting low-lying properties in Mississippi and southeastern Louisiana.

Hurricane Laura pummeled southwestern Louisiana on Aug. 27. Thousands of people were still without power from that storm, and some were still in shelters.

Meanwhile, far out in the Atlantic, Teddy became a hurricane Wednesday with winds of 100 mph (160 kph). Forecasters said it could reach Category 4 strength before closing in on Bermuda, which took a direct hit from Hurricane Paulette only days ago.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida’s governor is warning people in the state’s hard-hit panhandle to remain vigilant as Sally heads inland, warning major river flooding could come next.

Gov. Ron DeSantis told a news conference Wednesday afternoon that Sally is dumping heavy rains as it treks inland across the Southeast. He said that is expected to cause massive flooding of several Florida Panhandle rivers in the coming days.

“So this is kind of the initial salvo, but there is going to be more that you’re going to have to contend with,” DeSantis said at an appearance at the state emergency operations center in Tallahassee.

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As the rivers crest, DeSantis said, areas that weren’t initially flooded by the passing hurricane could still be affected, with residents forced to evacuate.

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MOBILE, Ala. -- Rivers have begun to rise from Sally’s heavy rains, and at least eight waterways in south Alabama and the Florida Panhandle are expected to hit major flood stage by Thursday.

Some of the crests could break records, submerge bridges and flood some homes, the National Weather Service warned in a message late Wednesday.

In Alabama, affected waterways include the Styx and Fish rivers, Murder Creek and Big Escambia Creek. In Florida, major crests were expected on the Perdido, Blackwater, Shoal and Yellow rivers, according to forecasters

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BAY MINETTE, Ala. -- An electric utility in south Alabama is warning people hit by power outages from the passage of Sally that they may not get their lights back any time soon.

Floodwaters move on the street, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, in Pensacola, Fla. Hurricane Sally made landfall Wednesday near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 2 storm, pushing a surge of ocean water onto the coast and dumping torrential rain that forecasters said would cause dangerous flooding from the Florida Panhandle to Mississippi and well inland in the days ahead.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Floodwaters move on the street, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, in Pensacola, Fla. Hurricane Sally made landfall Wednesday near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 2 storm, pushing a surge of ocean water onto the coast and dumping torrential rain that forecasters said would cause dangerous flooding from the Florida Panhandle to Mississippi and well inland in the days ahead.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Baldwin EMC, the electric utility that services Baldwin County and part of a neighboring county in southeastern Alabama, posted on its Facebook page Wednesday that it had crews going out to assess the damage. But the utility warned customers they could be in for “prolonged, extensive outages due to the amount of damage.”

“We don’t want to sugar coat this; we’re in it for the long haul,” the message said. Utility officials have asked people who had medical equipment needing electricity to start making alternative plans.

More than 500,00 residential and business customers of utilities in Alabama and Florida have been hit with outages, poweroutage.us reported Wednesday afternoon.

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PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Pensacola resident Rodney Landrum compared Hurricane Sally to powerful Hurricane Ivan, which blasted ashore in neighboring Alabama in September 2004.

The 51-year-old computer database engineer recalled Hurricane Ivan as being “hellish, nightmarish.” It even blew tiles off his roof.

This time, Sally left his roof intact. And Landrum even slept as Sally blew ashore early Wednesday.

He didn’t experience any flooding though many large trees came down, including a big tree that toppled on the roof of a neighbor.

“Lots of downed power lines, lots of creeks overflowing,” said Landrum after a drive in his neighborhood. “Nothing was open except for one McDonalds, which had a line of about 45 cars.”

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PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Sheriff David Morgan in the Florida Panhandle’s Escambia County has bristled at assertions that authorities were unprepared for Hurricane Sally.

“Escambia County is never unprepared,” he said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon. “if there is a hurricane tonight, we are prepared to address the hurricane. If there is a riot tonight, we’re prepared to address that. We train for these things day in and day out.”

Escambia Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Chip Simmons said deputies fanned out into communities, on foot, in patrol cars and on motorcycles to provide aid during the storm. Said Simmons: “I saw a lot of people in distress. I saw a lot of people crying. I saw a lot of people giving of themselves -- they were helping someone else.”

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PASCAGOULA, Miss. -- Mississippi charter boat captain Rocky Bond is breathing easy.

Hurricane Sally caused the tide to rise about four feet (1.2 meters) in Pascagoula on Missisippi’s Gulf Coast. But after the waters receded, he found only minor damage inflicted on docks and boat slips.

Instead, Hurricane Sally pummeled the Gulf Coast further to the east of Mississippi.

“We were lucky,” Bond said Wednesday. Only a few boards were loose or missing and a dock ramp likely washed away in the tide. He had been moving boats to safety for days.

Elsewhere, many of his mariner friends in neighboring coastal Alabama and the Florida Panhandle were not so fortunate when Sally crashed ashore to the east. “They got hammered,” Bond said. “Yachts sunk, and I mean big yachts. All the boats are loose, and everything’s just washed up in debris piles. It’s chaotic.”

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MIAMI -- Tropical Storm Sally has begun to spread heavy rains into the U.S. Southeast as it moves inland at a faster-than-expected pace.

The National Hurricane Center said Wednesday afternoon that Sally has begun drenching parts of eastern Alabama and western Georgia. Meanwhile, life-threatening flooding is continuing over portions of the Florida Panhandle and southern Alabama hours after Sally crashed ashore as a hurricane.

Joe Mirable surveys the damage to his business after Hurricane Sally moved through the area, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, in Perdido Key, Fla. Hurricane Sally made landfall Wednesday near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 2 storm, pushing a surge of ocean water onto the coast and dumping torrential rain that forecasters said would cause dangerous flooding from the Florida Panhandle to Mississippi and well inland in the days ahead. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Joe Mirable surveys the damage to his business after Hurricane Sally moved through the area, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, in Perdido Key, Fla. Hurricane Sally made landfall Wednesday near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 2 storm, pushing a surge of ocean water onto the coast and dumping torrential rain that forecasters said would cause dangerous flooding from the Florida Panhandle to Mississippi and well inland in the days ahead. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

At 4 p.m. CDT, Sally’s center was located about 55 miles (85 kilometers) north-northeast of Pensacola on the Florida Panhandle. Sally had top sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph). It is moving to the northeast at 7 mph (11 kph).

Forecasters say Sally’s core will move across southeastern Alabama during the night and over central Georgia on Thursday before sweeping over South Carolina later that night. As the storm continues to weaken, Sally is expected to become a tropical depression sometime Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

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PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Authorities in Pensacola, Florida, say 200 National Guard members will be arriving Thursday in response to Hurricane Sally, which hit the Gulf Coast with wind and drenching rains that have caused flooding.

At a Wednesday afternoon news conference, Escambia County authorities announced a dusk to dawn curfew for the next three days. They also said there have been 377 rescues so far from water-stricken areas.

Sally lumbered ashore Wednesday morning near the Florida-Alabama line as Category 2 hurricane with 105 mph (165 kph) winds and rain measured in feet, not inches. It has swamped homes and trapped people in high water as it creeps inland.

It has since weakened to a tropical storm.

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PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Several boats docked at a pier in Pensacola, Florida, have sunk as Sally moved over the Gulf Coast.

Pensacola police spokesperson Mike Wood also said Wednesday he doesn’t know the whereabouts of a replica of one of the ships that made Christopher Columbus’s historic voyage.

Sally lumbered ashore Wednesday morning near the Florida-Alabama line as Category 2 hurricane with 105 mph (165 kph) winds and rain measured in feet, not inches. It has swamped homes and trapped people in high water as it creeps inland for what could be a long, slow and disastrous drenching across the Deep South.

It has since weakened to a tropical storm.

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MIAMI -- Sally has weakened to a tropical storm but the Gulf Coast region still faces issues from the slow-moving storm’s drenching rains and flooding.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm’s maximum sustained winds decreased Wednesday afternoon to near 70 mph (110 kph) with additional weakening expected as Sally moves inland.

As of 1 p.m. CDT, the storm was centered about 30 miles (45 kilometers) north-northeast of Pensacola, Florida, and moving north-northeast near 5 mph (7 kph).

A man watches floodwaters, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, in downtown Pensacola, Fla. Hurricane Sally made landfall Wednesday near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 2 storm, pushing a surge of ocean water onto the coast and dumping torrential rain that forecasters said would cause dangerous flooding from the Florida Panhandle to Mississippi and well inland in the days ahead. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
A man watches floodwaters, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, in downtown Pensacola, Fla. Hurricane Sally made landfall Wednesday near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 2 storm, pushing a surge of ocean water onto the coast and dumping torrential rain that forecasters said would cause dangerous flooding from the Florida Panhandle to Mississippi and well inland in the days ahead. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Sally lumbered ashore Wednesday morning near the Florida-Alabama line as Category 2 hurricane with 105 mph (165 kph) winds and rain measured in feet, not inches. It has swamped homes and trapped people in high water as it creeps inland for what could be a long, slow and disastrous drenching across the Deep South.

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey says some areas of the state are seeing historic flood levels from slow-moving Hurricane Sally and more flooding is expected throughout the day.

Ivey urged people Wednesday to refrain from getting on roads unless they absolutely have to and said the best thing is for people to stay home.

Hurricane Sally lumbered ashore near the Florida-Alabama line Wednesday morning with 105 mph (165 kph) winds and rain measured in feet, not inches. It has swamped homes and trapped people in high water as it creeps inland for what could be a long, slow and disastrous drenching across the Deep South.

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NEW ORLEANS -- The U.S. Coast Guard has sent helicopters flying over the Gulf Coast to check for anyone in distress as Hurricane Sally pummels the region with wind and rain.

In a statement, the agency says MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters and MH-65 Dolphin choppers were checking for trouble, but had no immediate reports of any distress calls or search-and-rescue incidents as of mid-morning Wednesday.

Sally made landfall early Wednesday near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 2 hurricane with top winds of 100 mph (155 kph). It has since weakened to a Category 1 storm as it moves inland.

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PENSACOLA, Fla. -- A sheriff says Hurricane Sally has knocked out a section of the new Three Mile Bridge in Pensacola, Florida, as the storm pounds the Gulf Coast with wind and rain.

At a news conference, Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan confirmed that part of the new bridge had come off amid the storm.

Sally made landfall early Wednesday near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 2 hurricane with top winds of 100 mph (155 kph).

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MIAMI -- Hurricane Sally has decreased to a Category 1 storm as it pounds the Gulf Coast, but remains a dangerous rainmaker.

Sally’s maximum sustained winds decreased to near 80 mph (130 kph) late Wednesday morning and the U.S. National Hurricane Center says additional weakening is expected as the storm moves farther inland.

Floodwaters move on the street, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, in Pensacola, Fla. Hurricane Sally made landfall Wednesday near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 2 storm, pushing a surge of ocean water onto the coast and dumping torrential rain that forecasters said would cause dangerous flooding from the Florida Panhandle to Mississippi and well inland in the days ahead.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Floodwaters move on the street, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, in Pensacola, Fla. Hurricane Sally made landfall Wednesday near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 2 storm, pushing a surge of ocean water onto the coast and dumping torrential rain that forecasters said would cause dangerous flooding from the Florida Panhandle to Mississippi and well inland in the days ahead.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

As of 10 a.m. CDT Wednesday, the storm was centered about 15 miles (20 kilometers) west-northwest of Pensacola, Florida, and moving north-northeast near 5 mph (7 kph).

Sally made landfall early Wednesday near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 2 hurricane with top winds of 100 mph (155 kph).

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PENSACOLA, Fla. -- With Hurricane Sally moving slowly and lashing the Gulf Coast with wind and rain, officials say worst may be yet to come.

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan says thousands of people in the communities he serves around Pensacola, Florida, will need to be evacuated from rising water in the coming days. Morgan said there are entire communities they’ll have to evacuate. He says deputies have already rescued more than 40 people late Wednesday morning, including a family of four that was in a tree and was brought to safety with a high-water vehicle.

Sally made landfall early Wednesday near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 2 hurricane with top winds of 100 mph (155 kph).

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WASHINGTON -- White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany says the White House is “fully engaged” as Hurricane Sally pounds the Gulf Coast with wind and rain.

Speaking Wednesday morning on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends,” McEnany said the Federal Emergency Management Agency is also fully engaged and cited President Donald Trump’s issuance of emergency declarations for the affected states.

McEnany didn’t have details on which officials the president had spoken with as of Wednesday morning but said “it’s safe to say the White House has been in active contact with all of these governors.”

Sally made landfall early Wednesday near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 2 hurricane with top winds of 100 mph (155 kph).

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ORANGE BEACH, Ala. -- City officials in Orange Beach, Alabama, say they’ve received 120 calls after midnight from people whose homes were flooded by Hurricane Sally.

Mayor Tony Kennon says between 50 and 60 people were rescued and are staying in makeshift shelters Wednesday morning.

Kennon also said there are people they haven’t been able to get to because of high water. But he said they’re safe in their homes and will be rescued as soon as the water recedes.

Meanwhile, U.S. Coast Guard crews based in New Orleans are prepared to make rescues if needed, as soon as the storm passes.

Sally made landfall early Wednesday near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 2 hurricane with top winds of 100 mph (155 kph).

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FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. -- A section of Florida’s Highway 98, which runs parallel to the Gulf of Mexico, is blocked by debris and downed power lines as Hurricane Sally moves inland after making landfall on the Gulf Coast.

In a tweet, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office says residents should stay home because roads in the area “are dangerous right now.” The agency says numerous roads in the area are closed due to the storm.

In this image made from video, an alligator is seen on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Moss Point, Miss.. As Hurricane Sally's outer bands reached the U.S. Gulf Coast and landfall was imminent, the manager of Gulf Coast Gator Ranch & Tours was hoping he wouldn't have to live a repeat of what happened at the gator farm during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when about 250 alligators escaped their enclosures. (AP Photo/Stacey Plaisance)
In this image made from video, an alligator is seen on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Moss Point, Miss.. As Hurricane Sally's outer bands reached the U.S. Gulf Coast and landfall was imminent, the manager of Gulf Coast Gator Ranch & Tours was hoping he wouldn't have to live a repeat of what happened at the gator farm during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when about 250 alligators escaped their enclosures. (AP Photo/Stacey Plaisance) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

The Category 2 hurricane made landfall early Wednesday morning near Gulf Shores, Alabama, with top winds of 100 mph (155 kph).

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The National Hurricane Center says Sally is still Category 2 Hurricane with top winds of 100 mph (155 kph) as it moves inland, about 15 miles (25 kilometers) north-northeast of Gulf Shores, Alabama.

That’s where it made landfall at 4:45 a.m. local time Wednesday. Hurricane-force winds still extend outward up to 40 miles (65 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 kilometers), so life-threatening conditions are affecting a big stretch of the Gulf Coast.

The hurricane center says “historic and catastrophic flooding is unfolding,” with up to 35 inches of rain expected.

Officials in Florida’s Panhandle have shut down Interstate 10 at the Escambia Bay Bridge near Pensacola due to sustained high winds on Wednesday morning. Multiple roads have also been shut down due to flooding in Florida’s Panhandle.

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GULF SHORES, Ala. -- Hurricane Sally made landfall Wednesday morning near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 2 storm, pushing a surge of ocean water onto the coast and dumping torrential rain that forecasters said would cause dangerous flooding from the Florida Panhandle to Mississippi and well inland in the days ahead.

Moving at an agonizingly slow 3 mph, Sally finally came ashore at 4:45 a.m. local time with top winds of 105 mph (165 kmh), the National Hurricane Center said.

Sally’s northern eyewall had raked the Gulf Coast with hurricane-force winds and rain from Pensacola Beach, Florida, westward to Dauphin Island, Alabama, for hours before its center finally hit land.

Nearly 400,000 homes and businesses are without power, according to the utility tracker poweroutage.us, as the winds and rain down power lines and flood streets and homes.

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MIAMI - As strong winds from Hurricane Sally continue to batter the Gulf Coast, Stacy Stewart, a senior specialist with the National Hurricane Center says the storm could strengthen further before the entire eyewall moves inland and the center of the Hurricane crosses the gulf Coast between 6 and 7 a.m. EST.

He says the hurricane will bring “catastrophic and life threatening” rainfall over portions of the Gulf Coast, Florida panhandle and southeastern Alabama through Wednesday night.

The hazards associated with the hurricane are going to continue after it makes landfall, with the storm producing heavy rainfall Wednesday night and Thursday over portions of central and southern Georgia, Stewart said.

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Hurricane Sally’s northern eyewall is raking the Gulf Coast with hurricane-force winds and rain from Pensacola Beach, Florida westward to Dauphin Island, Alabama, the National Hurricane Center said.

Forecasters say landfall won’t come until later Wednesday when the center of the very slow moving hurricane finally reaches the coast. Sally remains centered about 50 miles (75 kilometers) south-southeast of Mobile, Alabama and 40 miles (65 kilometers) southwest of Pensacola, Florida, with top winds of 105 mph (165 kmh), moving north-northeast at 3 mph (6 kmh).

Vehicles maneuver on a flooded road near a boat washed up near the road after Hurricane Sally moved through the area, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, in Orange Beach, Ala. Hurricane Sally made landfall Wednesday near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 2 storm, pushing a surge of ocean water onto the coast and dumping torrential rain that forecasters said would cause dangerous flooding from the Florida Panhandle to Mississippi and well inland in the days ahead. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Vehicles maneuver on a flooded road near a boat washed up near the road after Hurricane Sally moved through the area, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, in Orange Beach, Ala. Hurricane Sally made landfall Wednesday near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 2 storm, pushing a surge of ocean water onto the coast and dumping torrential rain that forecasters said would cause dangerous flooding from the Florida Panhandle to Mississippi and well inland in the days ahead. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Already trees are falling, street signs are swinging and cars are getting stuck in floods in Gulf Shores, Alabama, according to videos posted on social media. More than 300,000 customers are without power in Alabama, Florida and Louisiana.

Meanwhile Teddy has rapidly intensified into a hurricane and is forecast to become a catastrophic Category 4, possibly reaching Bermuda this weekend.

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MIAMI - Tropical Storm Teddy has now become a hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph (160 kph) the National Hurricane Center said.

Some strengthening is forecast during the next few days, and Teddy is likely to become a major hurricane later Wednesday and could reach Category 4 strength on Thursday.

Teddy is located about 820 miles (1,335 km) east of the Lesser Antilles. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (40 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (281 km).

Meanwhile as Hurricane Sally slowly made its way toward land, nearly 332,000 homes and businesses had lost electricity across Alabama, Florida and Louisiana by Wednesday morning, according to the poweroutage.us site. The site says about 192,000 of those outages were in Alabama while more than 78,000 were in Florida.

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MOSS POINT, Miss. - As Sally’s outer bands reached the Gulf Coast, the manager of an alligator ranch in Moss Point, Mississippi, was hoping he wouldn’t have to live a repeat of what happened at the gator farm in 2005.

The business of Joe and Teresa Mirable is seen after Hurricane Sally moved through the area, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, in Perdido Key, Fla. Hurricane Sally made landfall Wednesday near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 2 storm, pushing a surge of ocean water onto the coast and dumping torrential rain that forecasters said would cause dangerous flooding from the Florida Panhandle to Mississippi and well inland in the days ahead. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
The business of Joe and Teresa Mirable is seen after Hurricane Sally moved through the area, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, in Perdido Key, Fla. Hurricane Sally made landfall Wednesday near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 2 storm, pushing a surge of ocean water onto the coast and dumping torrential rain that forecasters said would cause dangerous flooding from the Florida Panhandle to Mississippi and well inland in the days ahead. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

That’s when about 250 alligators escaped their enclosures during Hurricane Katrina’s storm surge.

Tim Parker, manager of Gulf Coast Gator Ranch & Tours, said Sally has been a stressful storm because forecasters were predicting a storm surge of as much as 9 feet in the area. But, he says he was feeling some relief after new surge predictions had gone down.

“Now they’re talking about maybe two to four foot, which won’t be bad here,” Parker said. “My parking lot might go under water. Our office might partially go under water, but it’s not going to be too bad.”

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PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Sally has restrengthened into a powerful Category 2 hurricane as it veers eastward and crawls toward a potential landfall between the Florida Panhandle and Mobile Bay.

The National Hurricane Center said early Wednesday that the storm’s sustained winds had increased to 100 mph (161 kph).

The latest forecast track has the hurricane making landfall later Wednesday morning. The storm is barely moving, creeping forward at 2 mph (3 kph).

About 1 a.m. EDT Wednesday, Sally was centered about 65 miles (105 kilometers) southeast of Mobile, Alabama, and 60 miles (95 kilometers) southwest of Pensacola, Florida.