‘Sally’ has hit with the power of hurricane the southeastern United States, where it has felled trees, flooded streets and houses and left hundreds of thousands of homes without power. At least one person has died in the coastal city of Orange Beach (Alabama), according to some local media.
The hurricane made landfall as a Category 2 in Gulf Shores, Alabama, with maximum sustained winds of about 170 km / hour. Since then it has degraded to a tropical storm and has been practically stopped off the northwest of Florida, where it has left copious rains.
More than 515,000 homes and businesses in Alabama and Florida have been without power, according to the website poweroutage.us, which tracks power outages. Some of the worst floods have occurred place in Pensacola, a small coastal town of about 52,000 inhabitants.
Residents posted photos and videos of downtown streets turned into floods, with cars submerged up to the windows and gusts of wind that sent the rain down horizontally in furious eddies. “Flooded highways and intersections, along with dangerous road debris, are too numerous to list,” Pensacola police tweeted. “Please stay off the roads.”
“No one was prepared”
David Triana, a resident of Navarre, near Pensacola, explained that neither he nor his neighbors bricked up their windows because they did not expect the storm’s path to veer so drastically to the east, nor to intensify so soon. “No one was prepared for a category 2,” said the 57-year-old, whose home was undamaged. “Forecasts for the cone of impact and the strength of the storm did not indicate that it would hit us that hard.”
The Governor of Alabama, Kay Ivey, has warned residents that it will take time to restore power and water services and clean up debris. “Hurricane ‘Sally’ was a slow storm, which only added delays to the restoration of energy, water and other essential services,” said Ivey, who on Monday had already declared a state of emergency before the arrival of ‘Sally ‘.
Also the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, declared a state of emergency for 13 Northwest counties on Tuesday. One of them, home to the capital Tallahassee, was still under a tornado warning.
According to the latest newsletter of the National Hurricane Center (NHC), based in Miami, ‘Sally’ had maximum sustained winds of 55 km / hour, less intense than in the previous hours. It is expected to continue to weaken as it moves over land this Thursday.