Hurricane Sally made landfall Wednesday morning as a Category 2 storm near Gulf Shores, Alabama, after battering the Gulf Coast more than 24 hours earlier with heavy rain and wind.
The storm is expected to bring “catastrophic” and “life-threatening” flooding over parts of the Florida Panhandle and southern Alabama, the National Hurricane Center warned Wednesday, adding that a “significant flood threat will spread inland” over parts of the southeastern United States through Friday.
By early afternoon, Sally had weakened to a tropical storm with winds of 70 mph but had already left destruction in parts of Florida and Alabama.
Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.
The mayor of Pensacola, Grover Robinson IV, urged residents to stay in their homes until rescue workers and police can assess the damage.
“We will be out there assessing very shortly, but we don’t like to get our people out until we know the winds have died down into a safe enough environment for them to operate,” he said during an appearance Wednesday on MSNBC.
Perdido Key, Fla.
In Perdido Key, Sally damaged buildings and cars and left streets heavily flooded as residents hunkered down in their homes.
Orange Beach, Ala.
At least 50 people in Orange Beach had to be rescued and taken to shelters after their homes flooded, according to the Associated Press. Storm winds were so strong that it knocked out the walls in one corner of an apartment building.
Gulf Shores, Ala.
In Gulf Shores, wind gusts over 100 mph ripped the Tropic Isles condominium to shreds, a video by The Weather Channel shows. Footage posted on Instagram shows a heavily flooded street with strong winds.
In Foley, the storm brought heavy rains, leaving one woman trapped inside her flooded home. The woman eventually had to be rescued by the volunteer group The Cajun Navy, the woman’s friend said in a Facebook post.