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Hurricane Sally Set To Hit Gulf Coast As States Prepare For Devastating Storm Surge, Record Rainfall

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Hurricane Sally’s outer bands hit the Gulf Coast Tuesday, bringing intense winds and heavy rain as the storm has continued to strengthen over the Gulf of Mexico.

Officials in Mississippi and Alabama warned that the Category II storm could bring a catastrophic storm surge and nonstop rain, made worse by its slowing speed, a local NBC outlet reported.

Statewide officials encouraged people living close to the coast to evacuate as soon as possible, urging them to take advantage of the storm’s slow speed to avoid the expected floods. Sally is expected to make landfall near southeastern Louisiana Tuesday afternoon before turning northward towards Biloxi, Mississippi and Mobile, Alabama, The New York Times reported.

“I’m well aware that those on the Gulf Coast are all too familiar with Mother Nature’s wrath,” Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said during a news conference Tuesday. “We still hope and pray Sally will not bring that type of pain and heartache, but my fellow Alabamians, Hurricane Sally is not to be taken for granted.”

The hurricane’s winds reached over 80 m.p.h. early Tuesday afternoon, according to NYT, risking a storm surge in some areas exceeding nine feet and rainfall up to 30 inches high.

Forecasters from the National Hurricane Center also warned of “extreme life-threatening” flash floods beginning Tuesday night and continuing into Wednesday and urged residents to evacuate. A hurricane warning remains active, extending from Louisiana’s eastern coast to the Florida panhandle, according to NYT.

“This is the real deal, and it deserves your attention,” Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves tweeted Monday, urging residents to evacuate as well.

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Andrew Trunsky

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