Hurricane Sally is going into the record books — and it only just made landfall. The National Hurricane Center says “historic and catastrophic flooding is unfolding” from just west of Tallahassee, Florida to Mobile Bay.
Sally’s eye crossed over land near Gulf Shores, Alabama, at 5:45 a.m ET as a Category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of 105 mph. It intensified in the hours before hitting shore.
A “life-threatening storm surge “is hitting “portions of the coastline from Alabama to the western Florida panhandle,” the center said. Catastrophic and “life-threatening” flooding is likely as the storm slowly moves inland.
The storm is creeping north-northeast at a mere 3 mph early Wednesday and forecasters said to expect more of the same with it over land. The excruciatingly slow pace could mean up to almost three feet of rain in some places and produce storm surges as high as seven feet, forecasters said. Tornadoes are also possible.
As of early Wednesday, Sally’s eye was about 50 miles south-southeast of Mobile, Alabama and 40 miles southwest of Pensacola, Florida, the hurricane center said.