This is the first time five tropical storms have simultaneously whirling around the Atlantic Ocean in the last five decades. Tropical storm Sally is one of them, which is joined by Paulette, Rene, Teddy and Vicky. On Wednesday, Hurricane Sally made landfall near Gulf Shores Alabama as a category 2 storm.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Sally reports winds at 105mph with a minimal central pressure of 965mb and is moving north-northeast at 3 miles per hour (5km/h). As a result, the US coastal areas of Tallahassee, Florida to Mobile Bay in Alabama are hit by catastrophic flooding. That's not it, the NHC has issued a life-threatening storm surge as far as Georgia.
"Sally has a characteristic that isn't often seen and that's a slow forward speed and that's going to exacerbate the flooding," NHC deputy director Ed Rappaport was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.
Hurricane Sally strengthening
Hurricane Sally is currently categorized as Cat. 2. It suddenly got stronger as it was whirling off the Gulf Coast early on Wednesday, but it strengthened into Category 2 hurricane with 105mph, from 85mph on late-Tuesday.
Sally could cause up to 2.5 feet flooding due to rain and produce storm surges as high as 7 feet. In fact, tornadoes are also a possibility, NHS warned. A flash flood emergency was declared in parts of the Mobile and Pensacola, Florida.
According to poweroutage.us, over 230,000 homes in Alabama, Louisiana, Florida and Mississippi are already without power. For Sally to turn into Category 3, the winds range must exceed 111mph or go up to 129mph. With this, there would be high risk of deaths and injuries to people, livestock and pets from flying and falling debris. Mobile homes will be destroyed and new ones will take severe damage.
Currently, there are no signs of Sally turning into Cat. 3, but it remains a possibility.
Just last month, the catastrophic Hurricane Laura made landfall in Louisiana with wind speeds up to 150 miles per hour (240kmph). The catastrophic devastation resulted in thousands of people fleeing from their homes. It was a Cat. 4 hurricane.