Tropical Storm Sally strengthens in the Gulf

Caroline Linton
·2 min read

Tropical Storm Sally continued to strengthen as it moves toward the Gulf Coast, with the National Hurricane Center warning on Sunday that it could make landfall as a hurricane. Hurricane conditions are expected by late Monday from Grand Isle, Louisiana, to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, including the greater New Orleans area.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said Sally represents a "very significant threat." "We have really good reason to be concerned about this storm," Edwards said in a Sunday press briefing.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Sunday that dangerous and "life-threatening" storm surge is expected from Louisiana to the Mississippi/Alabama border. While the storm is expected to intensify as it moves toward land to up to 100 mph, or Category 2 strength, the storm's real threat is the slow movement, which will cause dangerous storm surge. A storm surge warning is in effect from Port Fourchon, Louisiana, to the Mississippi/Alabama border.

TROPICAL UPDATE: @NOAA's #GOES16🛰️ is tracking the circulation and #lightning from #TropicalStorm #Sally this morning. As of 11 am ET, Sally had winds of 60 mph, and a #HurricaneWarning is in effect for parts of the Gulf Coast, including #NewOrleans. More:

— NOAA Satellites - Public Affairs (@NOAASatellitePA) September 13, 2020

Benjamin Schott of the National Weather Service in New Orleans warned "surge tends to be the number 1 killer."

Before the storm even makes landfall, it is expected to produce flash flooding on the Florida Panhandle, the NHC said. Effects from the storm will be felt as early as Sunday evening and will last throughout Monday. The storm is expected to make landfall near Louisiana and Mississippi on Tuesday.

As of Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, Sally was located about 160 miles south of Panama City, Florida, with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph, according to the NHC.

Louisiana is still recovering from Hurricane Laura, which hit Lake Charles as a Category 4 storm in late August. Edwards said on Sunday that he has asked President Trump for more assistance from the federal government in relief from the storm.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Paulette neared Bermuda on Sunday, with tropical storm conditions starting Sunday night; the storm is expected to be near the island on Monday. A hurricane warning is in effect for Bermuda.

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