Hurricane Sally is declining in strength, but remains dangerous. Wind power has decreased from 165 to 110 kilometres per hour, but is causing catastrophic and life-threatening floods in parts of Florida and southern Alabama, reports the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami.
Floods threaten large parts of the US southeastern coastal regions until Friday, according to the NHC. The institute expects the hurricane to weaken to a tropical storm by Thursday morning local time.
The second category hurricane on a scale of five landed in the south of the United States on Wednesday. The eye of the storm passed the town of Gulf Shores in Alabama in the early morning. Sally is expected to travel inland in a northeastern direction in the coming days.
Stacy Stewart of the National Hurricane Center told USA Today that due to Sally‘s slow traverse, rainfall can reach about 90 centimeters in some places. Meteorologist Phil Klotzbach at Colorado State University also expects a lot of rain. It’s not going to be good
Some coastal areas on the Gulf of Mexico have already been flooded with more than 45 centimetres of rain in the last 24 hours. Parts of Pensacola, Florida, have been hit by floods that have reached a height of up to a metre and a half, the NHC said.
As a result of the storms, almost 500,000 homes and shops in Alabama and Florida are now without electricity. That number is expected to increase further. Social media videos show that the hurricane in Gulf Shores is uprooting trees, blowing away street signs and cars getting stuck due to the flooding.