Hurricane Sally made landfall early Wednesday in the state of Alabama, on the southern coast of the United States, expected to cause “historic” and potentially deadly floods, according to meteorologists.
The National Hurricane Center (CNH) said at 09:45 GMT that the cyclone, a category 2 on a scale of 5, registers winds of up to 165 kilometers per hour that threaten coastal areas of Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.
The CNH warned of “historic” floods, which can become extremely dangerous. And in some areas it could discharge up to 50 centimeters of rain, she added.
“Sally is expected to be a dangerous hurricane once it makes landfall,” forecasters warned before the hurricane entered the continent at Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Some 75,000 homes in Alabama and Florida were already without power as of Tuesday night, according to the Weather Channel, and videos posted on social media appeared to show that some areas already began to experience flooding.
The hurricane made landfall at a pace of 3.2 km / h, although it is expected to pick up speed during the day on Wednesday.
Sally, which formed in southern Florida, where it produced heavy rains over the weekend, is one of five cyclones currently active in the Atlantic, a phenomenon that was only recorded once before, in September 1971, according to meteorologists. .
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey told residents that although it has weakened, “Hurricane Sally should not be looked down upon.”
“We will see record floods that may exceed historical levels. And with that greater amount of water, there will come greater risks of loss of life and property, ”he told the press. Ivey declared a state of emergency on Monday pending Sally’s arrival.
On Fox, President Donald Trump compared Sally to Hurricane Laura, which hit Texas and Louisiana, as well as the Caribbean, a few weeks ago.
“This one is smaller but it’s a little more direct, but we have everything under control,” he said.
“We are in close contact with state & local leaders to assist the great towns of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi,” Trump said on Twitter.
- “Stay safe” –
Mississippi also declared a state of emergency.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said “storm surge projections continue to be worrisome, with coastal storm surges ranging from five to eight feet (1.5 to 2.4 meters).”
“We remain very concerned about the amount of rain,” he added.
Meanwhile, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, whose state has not yet recovered from Laura’s scourge, which struck as a Category 4 hurricane, asked residents to be prepared.
“Be smart and stay safe,” he tweeted.
- Without names –
There have been so many tropical storms in the Atlantic this year that the UN World Meteorological Organization, which appoints them, is about to run out of names for the second time in history.
The last time was in 2005, the year Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.
In addition to Sally, Hurricane Paulette, Tropical Storms Teddy and Vicky, and Tropical Depression Rene are active.
Paulette hit the island of Bermuda on Monday with Category 2 winds and heavy rain, according to the NHC.
The center also hopes that Tropical Storm Teddy, currently in the mid-Atlantic, will become a hurricane.
With information from AFP