Hurricane Sally, near the Florida-Alabama line with winds of 165 kilometers per hour and very heavy rain on Wednesday, swept through homes and forced hundreds of people to rescue inland for a slow and devastating sinking across the Deep South.
At 5 kilometers per hour or as fast as a person can walk, the storm landed at 4:45 a.m. local time, 50 kilometers from Gulf Shores, Pensacola, Fla. It has an accelerated light jog Pensacola and mobile, so., Metropolitan areas with a population of nearly one million.
As of Wednesday afternoon, authorities in Escambia County, including Pensacola, had rescued at least 377 people from flood-prone areas. More than 40 people trapped in the high water were brought to safety in a single hour, including a family of four in a tree, Sheriff David Morgan said.
Authorities in Pensacola said 200 National Guard members would arrive Thursday for help. Authorities announced a three-day curfew in the county from dusk, where the storm turned some streets into white-covered rivers.
By early afternoon, Sally had weakened into a tropical cyclone, with winds dropping to 110 km / h, but the worst had not yet arrived, with heavy rains lashing over Alabama and entering Georgia until Thursday. Most of the day, moving at a speed of just seven kilometers per hour, it rains at any one place.
According to utility tracker poweroutage.us, nearly 400,000 homes and businesses were without electricity, with the storm tearing down power lines and filling streets and homes.
Morgan estimates that thousands of people will have to flee the rising waters in the coming days. County officials urged residents to rely on text messages to contact family and friends to keep the cellphone service open for 911 calls.
“We have whole communities that are going to be vacated,” the sheriff said. “It’s going to be an amazing operation in the next few days.”
More than 61 centimeters of rain was recorded near Naval Air Station Pensacola, with some coastal areas forecasting up to a meter of rain.
The storm tore down a barge-mounted construction crane and then cracked a new three-mile bridge over Pensacola Bay, causing part of it to collapse throughout the year, Sheriff’s spokesman Amber Southard said.
Sally also tore down a large portion of the newly rebuilt fishing pier at Gulf State Park in Alabama and energized half a million homes and businesses in the area.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ewe said some areas of the state are seeing historic flood levels from Sally, with more flooding expected throughout the day.
Ewe asked people not to get on the roads on Wednesday unless they should and it is best that people stay at home.
Rescued in Florida, Alabama
Emergency crews rescued two people on Dauphin Island as the hurricane knocked down the roof of their home and the rest of the house began to collapse.
“As things started to ride and fall, they were worried and called for help,” Mayor Jeff Collier said by phone. He said no one was injured.
Orange Beach, Ala., Winds blew walls in one corner of a condominium, exposing the interior of condoms on at least five floors, a video posted online showed. Other pictures show boats moving ashore due to the storm.
Orange Beach officials said they received 120 calls from people whose homes were flooded after midnight. Mayor Tony Cannon said at least 50 people in the city had been rescued from flooded homes and taken to shelters.
“We couldn’t receive it because the water was so high,” he said. “But they are safe in their homes. We will protect them as soon as the water recedes.”
The streetlights on Downtown Mobile were knocked down, where the stoplight fell, and its cable was brutally ing scratched. The trees bent down as it rained sideways in the howling wind. In downtown Pennsylvania, car alarms went off, and flashing lights lit up the floodwaters around parked cars.
‘I’m not safe to leave’
Back in Florida, outside the Pensacola Hotel there was water up to the Jordan Muse car door by sunrise, where she took refuge after her family fled to their mobile home a few miles away.
Early in the morning the power failed and it was too bloated to sleep. Her 8-year-old son was playing with toys under the hotel room desk when Muse looked out the window and saw rain flying in the sheets.
“Power trucks are only on the water, they are big,” Muse said. “I can not believe it happened so badly. That’s why we came here.”
WATCH l Sally makes landfall a Category 2 hurricane:
Michelle Lamar-Akuf wakes up to a small tree falling against the window of her Pensacola home. Waist deep water fell on her street. Above the loud whistles of the wind she heard transformers exploding.
“I don’t feel safe leaving,” Lamar-Akuf said from the porch of a neighboring house. “I put up and hope for the best.”
Last weekend, Sally’s Way New Orleans appeared to be in its sights.
So Robert Lambrisky and his husband moved their door before daylight and forced rainwater inside their home on Saunders Beach near Pensacola. After sunrise, the stagnant sea water is usually 50 feet off the beach.
“We have some warning, but it’s such a strange storm,” Lambrisky said. “So all these preparations you make, when you know the storm is coming, we only did half because we are confident that the storm will not touch us.”
After heavy rains lashed the coast on Wednesday, Sally Georgia and the Carolinas are expected to receive heavy rains.
U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this week issued emergency notices to parts of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.
Speaking to Fox News Wednesday morning, White House Press Secretary Kylie McNani said the Federal Emergency Management Agency was also fully engaged in the affected areas.