Joe Biden town hall, U.S. Open, Sally eyes Georgia, South Carolina: 5 things to know Thursday

Editors, USA TODAY

After Sally's heavy punch, rescue and recovery efforts get underway

Remnants of Hurricane Sally are forecast to reach Georgia and South Carolina on Thursday, bringing heavy rain and the threat of heavy flooding in each state. Downgraded to a tropical depression Wednesday, Sally's strong winds battered Alabama and Florida as the center moved over the Panhandle. In Pensacola, Florida, a section of the Pensacola Bay Bridge collapsed, and downtown was largely underwater. Meanwhile, more than 550,000 homes and businesses are without power in Alabama, Florida and Louisiana, according to the utility tracker The hurricane killed at least one person in Orange Beach, Alabama, located in the state's eastern Gulf Coast between Mobile and Pensacola.

Prefer to listen? Check out the 5 things podcast below and subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts:

CNN to air town hall with Joe Biden from Scranton, Pennsylvania

CNN will host a town hall with 2020 Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The event, which will be moderated by CNN's Anderson Cooper, will be Biden's first prime time town hall since accepting the nomination. The network notes the town hall will feature a socially-distanced live audience and will follow the state's guidance and regulations regarding the coronavirus pandemic. During an event in Wilmington, Delaware on Wednesday, Biden said a vaccine for COVID-19 must be developed and distributed free of political pressure, and that development of a vaccine won't follow a political calendar, despite President Donald Trump's assurances that a vaccine will be completed within weeks. "I trust vaccines. I trust scientists," Biden said. "But I don’t trust Donald Trump and at this moment the American people can't either."

Fire-weary residents upbeat but thousands of acres are still burning

Displaced residents in southern Oregon and northern California are starting to get good news — but it's coming at a trickle. Earlier this week, the Oregon State Fire Marshal's office said that fires in the state — which continue to burn close to urban areas outside of Portland on Thursday — were the worst they'd ever seen. In northern California, the fire burning in the Klamath National Forest, which displaced the residents of Happy Camp, California, moved to 10% containment, up from 5% Monday. That fire has spread across the border into Oregon, but officials said that if the weather pattern held, they felt confident they'd be able to contain more of the fire.

Weekly jobless claims likely to trend down slightly, but remain high

The Department of Labor will release its weekly jobless claims report Thursday, and another 850,000 Americans are expected to have filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week, according to Bloomberg via Yahoo!. If that estimate holds, the number will have dropped slightly from the prior week's level of more than 850,000. The weekly figures have been trending down since peaking at 6.2 million in early spring, but here's some perspective: The previous all-time high for weekly claims on a non-seasonally-adjusted basis was about 1 million during a recession in 1982. It's also worth noting that continuing claims, which represent all Americans still receiving unemployment checks with a one-week lag, rose to 13.2 million from 13.14 million the previous week.

U.S. Open, golf's second major of 2020, begins

On Thursday, the world's best golfers tee off at the 120th U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York. The second major of 2020 features a field of 144 golfers, including the 2019 U.S. Open champion, Gary Woodland, and Tiger Woods, who hasn't played competitively since the BMW Championship on Aug. 30. There’s also an all-Arizona State group of Phil Mickelson, Jon Rahm and Paul Casey as well as an all-Oklahoma State group of Rickie Fowler, Matthew Wolff and Viktor Hovland. The first tee time is set for 6:50 a.m. ET. Follow Golfweek for live updates throughout the tournament.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Joe Biden town hall, Sally, US Open: 5 things to know Thursday