Hurricane Sally set off alarms: Florida on alert

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Hurricane Sally lost intensity by lowering its peak winds to 85 miles per hour (140 km/h) as it approaches the northern Gulf Coast, where it is predicted to make landfall, but is expected to be a dangerous cyclone that will dump 20 inches of rains that means that Hurricane Sally would cause historic flooding, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned.

Hurricane Sally would cause historic flooding on the Gulf Coast.

The area is under hurricane surveillance and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared Monday night a state of emergency for Escambia and Santa Rosa counties in the Panhandle, which is hit by rains from Sally’s outer bands.

President Donald Trump, in turn, issued an emergency statement for Mississippi and Louisiana.

Sally strengthened on Monday by increasing her winds to 100 mph (155 km-h) and became a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson intensity scale of up to 5.

The system slowly moves at 2 mph (4 km/h) and is emptied to make landfall on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, the CNH reported.

“While few changes in intensity are forecast until it makes landfall, Sally is still expected to be a dangerous hurricane when moving inland along the central north coast of the Gulf,” meteorologists warned.

NHC meteorologists said the combination of dangerous cyclonic surge and tide would cause severe flooding. Water could reach 4 to 7 feet high on the Alabama-Florida border and 3 to 5 feet between Mississippi and Alabama. In Pensacola Bay and Choctawhatchee Bay it would be 3 to 5 feet.

Sally is forecast to produce 10 to 20 inches of rain with isolated amounts of 30 inches along and just land inside the central Gulf coast from west Panhandle, Florida, to the southeastern tip of Mississippi.

ON ALERT

Hurricane warning was changed to tropical storm surveillance from Pearl River mouth to Bay St. Louis Mississippi and storm surveillance was suspended at Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and the New Orleans metropolitan area.

A hurricane warning is in effect from East Bay St. Louis to Navarre, Florida, and tropical storm for Navarre to Indian Pass, Florida.

Cyclone surge surveillance is in place for the Mississippi-Alabama border and the Alabama-Florida border.

HURRICANE PAULETTE, STORMS TEDDY AND VICKY

The CNH also monitors Hurricane Paulette and tropical storms Teddy and Vicky in the Atlantic.

Paulette after hitting Bermuda on Monday remains still a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson intensity scale of up to 5.

Its maximum winds reach 105 mph (165 km/h) and further strengthening was predicted by Wednesday, then weakened.

Its cyclonic tide is affecting areas of the Antilles, the Bahamas and the east coast of the United States.

Tropical Storm Teddy, which formed in the Atlantic Ocean on Monday, increased its winds to 65 mph (100 km/h) and will turn into a powerful hurricane in the coming days, according to the CNH.

It was 960 miles east of the Lesser Antilles and will cause great storm surges that would affect the Lesser Antilles and northeastern coast of South America on Wednesday, which could lead to a life-threatening swell and hangover current conditions.

As for Storm Vicky, the NHC said it may have weakened on Tuesday. It has winds of 50 mph (85Km/h) and poses no danger to terrestrial areas.

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