Hurricane Sally updates: Gulf Coast may see flooding, dangerous storm surge

Hurricane Sally updates: Gulf Coast may see flooding, dangerous storm surge

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Sally will be the third hurricane to make landfall on the Gulf Coast this year.

September 15, 2020, 1:56 PM

• 8 min read

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Slow-moving Hurricane Sally is taking aim on the Gulf Coast where it's expected to bring coastal flooding and dangerous storm surge.

Sally is expected to crawl very slowly across the northern Gulf of Mexico over the next 24 hours and will make landfall some time Wednesday morning with possibly Category 1 hurricane winds near 85 mph.

As Sally continues to crawl inland over Alabama and Georgia, historic rainfall and flooding is possible in the area.

As Sally continues to crawl inland over Alabama and Georgia, historic rainfall and flooding is possible in the area.

As Sally makes landfall on the Alabama and Mississippi border on Wednesday, the highest storm surge should be from Louisiana into Mississippi and east to Mobile Bay, Alabama, where the water is expected to rise 6 to 9 feet.

A RAMMB/NOAA satellite image shows Hurricane Sally off the US Gulf Coast on Sept. 15, 2020, at 12:00 UTC. Hurricane Sally is set to hit parts of the US Gulf Coast with rain for another day Tuesday before it makes landfall, raising fears that significant flooding is in store for coastal Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.

A RAMMB/NOAA satellite image shows Hurricane Sally off the US Gulf Coast on Sept. 15, 2020, at 12:00 UTC. Hurricane Sally is set to hit parts of the US Gulf Coast with rain for another day Tuesday before it makes landfall, raising fears that significant flooding is in store for coastal Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.

Storm surge of up to 4 feet is possible even in Florida and parts of Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain, which is located on the northern side of New Orleans.

Rainfall totals could reach near 30 inches in eastern Mississippi, Alabama and into the Florida panhandle.

Bruce Laden walks along a pier to find a spot to fish from before the possible arrival of Hurricane Sally, Sept. 15, 2020, in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Bruce Laden walks along a pier to find a spot to fish from before the possible arrival of Hurricane Sally, Sept. 15, 2020, in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Sally will then crawl inland over Alabama and Georgia, where historic rainfall and flooding are possible.

Up to a foot of rain could fall from central Alabama to Georgia and northern South Carolina, including Atlanta and even into Charlotte, North Carolina, where major flash flooding is expected.

Up to a foot of rain could fall from central Alabama to Georgia and northern South Carolina, including Atlanta and even into Charlotte, North Carolina where major flash flooding is expected.

Up to a foot of rain could fall from central Alabama to Georgia and northern South Carolina, including Atlanta and even into Charlotte, North Carolina where major flash flooding is expected.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey ordered beaches closed Monday afternoon and said she was "recommending an evacuation, especially of non-residents, and those living in flood-prone areas south of I-10."

"Locals will need to prepare their homes, businesses and personal property for imminent storm surge, heavy rain and flash flooding," Ivey said.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said residents outside the levee protection system must evacuate.

In Mississippi, officials in Hancock County ordered a mandatory evacuation for low-lying areas.

Alex Vidmar, center, and Darrin Manning board up a business as Hurricane Sally approaches in Ocean Springs, Miss., Sept. 14, 2020.

Alex Vidmar, center, and Darrin Manning board up a business as Hurricane Sally approaches in Ocean Springs, Miss., Sept. 14, 2020.

Left to right, Justin Roberts, Noah Dubuisson and others fill sandbags on Sept. 14, 2020, in Biloxi, Miss. Now categorized as category 2, Hurricane Sally threatens to bring heavy rain, high winds and a dangerous storm surge from Louisiana to Florida.

Left to right, Justin Roberts, Noah Dubuisson and others fill sandbags on Sept. 14, 2020, in Biloxi, Miss. Now categorized as category 2, Hurricane Sally threatens to bring heavy rain, high winds and a dangerous storm surge from Louisiana to Florida.

Sally is the seventh hurricane so far this season; the average at this time is six.

Sally will be third hurricane making landfall along the Gulf Coast this season.

Sally will also be the fourth hurricane to make landfall in the U.S this season. The last time we had more than four hurricanes to make landfall in the U.S. was in 2005 when there were five, including Hurricane Katrina.

This report was featured in the Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, episode of “Start Here,” ABC News’ daily news podcast.

"Start Here" offers a straightforward look at the day's top stories in 20 minutes. Listen for free every weekday on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, the ABC News app or wherever you get your podcasts.

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