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Storm surges and flash floods: Hurricane Sully will bring historic downpours on the US

The slow-moving Hurricane Sally will bring torrential rains across parts of the US Gulf Coast before reaching land from Tuesday to Wednesday (September 15-16). Coastal areas of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida will experience significant flooding. Writes about it CNN.

Photo: Shutterstock

“We're talking about potentially historic rain, at least until Wednesday,” said National Hurricane Center (NHC) director Ken Graham.

Center Sally - a Category 1 storm with a maximum wind speed of 85 mph (136 km per hour) - only moved over the Gulf of Mexico towards the Mississippi coast in the late morning of September 15 at a speed of 2 miles per hour (3,2 km per hour).

Forecasters said Sally Center may not land until Wednesday morning, Sept.16, possibly near the Mississippi-Alabama border. The slow movement of the hurricane will allow a huge amount of rain to accumulate even before landfall.

The hurricane warning operates from St. Louis Bay, Mississippi east of Pensacola, Florida, including all coastal Alabama and Mobile.

Forecasters say the hurricane could appear in the warning zone starting at noon or night on September 15.

The outer edges of the hurricane have already snagged parts of coastal Alabama and Florida, causing rain there.

The main threats of the storm:

  • Dangerous storm surge, including 4 to 7 feet (1,2-2,1 m) on the Mississippi-Alabama border to Florida.
  • Heavy rain and dangerous flash floods. Approximately 10 to 30 inches (25,4 to 76 cm) of rain is possible by the end of the storm in southeastern Mississippi, southern Alabama, and western Florida.
  • Flash floods are possible even far out on land, Graham said. Inland Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina can experience 6 to 10 inches (15,2-25,4 cm) of rain.
  • Tornado. Forecasters say they are possible until Wednesday, especially in parts of Alabama and Florida.
Survivors of Katrina prepare for Sally

When word of the storm was coming, Mississippi resident Mike Taylor prepared by filling and placing sandbags around his home in Long Beach, near Gulfport, to keep water out.

“You just need to prepare. That's all we can do, ”Taylor said.

Screenshot: NHC

Taylor lost his home 15 years ago during Hurricane Katrina. He said he lived just a few blocks from the beach. Taylor was evacuated as the storm surge approached, and when he returned, only debris remained. One of the few things he found in the ruins was a toy truck that he still keeps in his house.

On the subject: 15 years after the disaster: why hurricane Katrina was the most destructive in US history

Taylor is not nervous about Hurricane Sally because he believes he has already experienced a stronger storm.

His 8-year-old nephew is not so self-confident. While helping Taylor fill the sandbags, he said he was concerned.

"I'm really nervous. A storm is coming and the wind could blow your house away, ”said the boy.

Robert Higdon, 35, a lifelong Gulf Coast resident, also stuffed sandbags in the Gulfport area before the storm began. He said he was not very worried about this hurricane, but knew that it was better to "prepare for the unexpected."

Storms in the Gulf of Mexico could intensify quickly, he said, so he always assumes the hurricane will be slightly worse than official forecasts.

“I'd rather be prepared for the unexpected,” Higdon said.

Residents and guests prepare for a hurricane in Alabama

In Bayou la Batre, a coastal Alabama town southwest of Mobile, Ian Fields on Monday anchored his boat in the bay where he and his family plan to ride out the storm.

Fields has waited out many storms this way, although he has a backup plan in case his family has to leave this time.

“I just wait for him to come and go,” he said.

Screenshot: NHC

Jerry Gunderson interrupted his vacation on Dauphin Island in Alabama because of Sally.

“We booked a house in Mobile, and they just called and said that a tree had fallen on the house, so now we are trying to find another accommodation,” he said.

Evacuation orders are in force along the coast

The governors of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi requested emergency federal assistance before the hurricane lands, and each has declared a state of emergency. Mandatory evacuations were announced along the coast of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama ahead of the storm.

Residents of Pluckemins Parish, Louisiana, St. Charles County, and parts of Jefferson Parish have been ordered to evacuate as floods and storm surges are expected in these areas.

Those who live in areas close to the coast of Mississippi are advised to evacuate before a hurricane. A mandatory evacuation has been announced in Hancock County, about 60 miles (96,5 km) east of New Orleans, for anyone living along or near bays, streams, rivers, bays and in mobile or modular homes.

Several evacuee shelters have been opened in the area. Some shelters have limited capacity to allow distancing due to the coronavirus.

Canceled flights ahead of a storm

Airports in at least two states have announced flight cancellations due to the storm.

Florida Pensacola International Airport is closed and Alabama Regional Airport canceled all flights ahead of Hurricane Sully.

On the subject: An abnormal 2020 continues: hurricanes, droughts and floods are yet to come

American Airlines said it was "watching closely" the hurricane and waived transfer fees for passengers who chose not to fly because of the storm.

United and Delta also said they would allow passengers to reschedule their flights due to the hurricane.

For the second time in the history of mankind

Only the second time in the history of mankind, five tropical cyclones are raging in the Atlantic Ocean at the same time, writes The Guardian.

While Sally threatens the US, Bermuda found itself at the epicenter of Hurricane Paulette on Monday, September 14th.

A severe Category 1 hurricane came just hours after schools, government offices, and air and sea ports were closed on the island. Officials warned of severe flooding given that the hurricane's collapse coincided with an unusually high tide. Forecasters said hurricane winds would blow on the island for about seven hours. Electricity has been cut in most of the island.

Screenshot: NHC

Fewer than 10 hurricanes have struck the island since the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) began tracking such disasters in the 1850s. The NHC said Paulette turned into a violent hurricane on Monday evening, September 14, after leaving Bermuda for open water.

There was also cyclone Rene, which weakened, ceasing to be a tropical storm. Despite this, the record may be repeated, as Disturbance 2 has formed in the Atlantic, which has a 50% chance of becoming a tropical storm. But Teddy has turned into a tropical storm and is expected to turn into a hurricane by the end of the week. At the same time, Tropical Depression 21 was formed to the east of the Cape Verde Islands and could become a tropical storm.

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