Sally updates: Storm slamming Gulf Coast with life-threatening flooding

Sally updates: Storm slamming Gulf Coast with life-threatening flooding

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Sally made landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a dangerous Category 2 hurricane Wednesday morning, and is slamming the Gulf Coast with torrential rain and catastrophic flooding.

The latest

Sally, now a tropical storm, is crawling north-northeast at 5 mph, near the Alabama-Florida border.

A car drives down Government Street during Hurricane Sally in Mobile, Ala., Sept. 16, 2020.

A car drives down Government Street during Hurricane Sally in Mobile, Ala., Sept. 16, 2020.

Even though Sally is weakening in terms of wind speed, the torrential rainfall is extremely dangerous, falling at 4 inches per hour in parts of Alabama and Florida.

GULF SHORES, ALABAMA - SEPTEMBER 15: A man walks though a flooded parking lot as the outer bands of Hurricane Sally come ashore on September 15, 2020 in Gulf Shores, Alabama. The storm is bringing heavy rain, high winds and a dangerous storm surge from Louisiana to Florida.

GULF SHORES, ALABAMA - SEPTEMBER 15: A man walks though a flooded parking lot as the outer bands of Hurricane Sally come ashore on September 15, 2020 in Gulf Shores, Alabama. The storm is bringing heavy rain, high winds and a dangerous storm surge from Louisiana to Florida.

Parts of western Florida and the southeastern Alabama coast are under flash flood emergencies through the evening.

Officials in Baldwin County, Alabama, reported "major to catastrophic flooding," urging residents to stay off the roads.

The water is continuing to rise and crews are conducting search and rescue efforts at homes where residents are trapped, said Sherry-Lea Bloodworth Botop, spokesperson for Baldwin County Emergency Management.

Some people have been airlifted from shelters, Botop said.

At least 90% of the county is without power, Botop added.

In Florida's Walton County, a man was running out of oxygen when waist-deep floodwaters filled his home. Deputies and a Good Samaritan helped evacuate him evacuate.

In Florida's Santa Rosa County, officials reported downed trees and power lines and said emergency crews were "only responding to high water calls due to the high wind and the excessive rain."

Escambia County, Florida, is facing massive flooding due to the historic rainfall, local officials said. Water rescue operations are ongoing there as residents in about 300 homes did not evacuate, officials said.

In Pensacola in Escambia County, where wind gusts reached 92 mph, the flooding is extremely dangerous.

Trent Airhart wades through flood waters, Sept. 16, 2020, in downtown Pensacola, Fla.

Trent Airhart wades through flood waters, Sept. 16, 2020, in downtown Pensacola, Fla.

Downtown Pensacola was submerged under 3 to 4 feet of rain Wednesday morning.

Nearly 25 inches of rainfall hit Pensacola while storm surge in the area climbed to 5.5 feet.

"Flooded roadways and intersections, along with hazardous debris in roadways (locations), have become too numerous to list," the Pensacola Police Department said. "Please stay off the roadways now."

People use flashlights as they walk on flooded streets in search of their vehicle, Sept. 16, 2020, in Pensacola, Fla.

People use flashlights as they walk on flooded streets in search of their vehicle, Sept. 16, 2020, in Pensacola, Fla.

Sally has even destroyed a Pensacola bridge; local authorities posted this photo showing the missing section.

The storm forced some Alabama first responders to stay indoors -- the Orange Beach Police Department said it could no longer respond to calls.

"Present conditions are preventing us from answering calls at this time. Please take all measures to be as safe as possible," the department tweeted. "If you have the option to move to higher ground do so now."

As of Wednesday afternoon, power outages were impacting than 283,000 customers in Alabama, 246,000 customers in Florida and 2,000 customers in Mississippi.

Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk and MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrews conduct critical incident search and rescue overflights of the areas impacted by Hurricane Sally in GulfPort, Miss., Sept. 16, 2020.

Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk and MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrews conduct critical incident search and rescue overflights of the areas impacted by Hurricane Sally in GulfPort, Miss., Sept. 16, 2020.

A tattered American flag is seen as the winds and rain from Hurricane Sally pass through the area on Sept. 16, 2020 in Mobile, Ala.

A tattered American flag is seen as the winds and rain from Hurricane Sally pass through the area on Sept. 16, 2020 in Mobile, Ala.

The forecast

Sally will likely become a tropical depression as it moves north Thursday night.

An ABC News weather map shows predictions for the Sally forecast track through Friday, Sept. 18, 2020.

An ABC News weather map shows predictions for the Sally forecast track through Friday, Sept. 18, 2020.

The storm will bring heavy rain and possible flash flooding to Georgia and the Carolinas Thursday through Friday.

Up to 1 foot of rain is possible across southern Alabama, central Alabama and the Atlanta area.

An ABC News weather map shows predictions for additional rain through Friday, Sept. 18, 2020.

An ABC News weather map shows predictions for additional rain through Friday, Sept. 18, 2020.

Flash flood watches extend across seven states from Florida to Virginia.

Sally is the eighth continental U.S. named storm to make landfall in 2020. The other named storms to make landfall in 2020 so far have been: Bertha, Cristobal, Fay, Hanna, Isaias, Laura and Marco.

Sally's landfall in Gulf Shores, Alabama, comes 16 years to the day after Hurricane Ivan made landfall in Gulf Shores as a Category 3 storm.

ABC News' Max Golembo, Melissa Griffin, Rachel Katz and Dan Manzo contributed to this report.

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