Bay St. Louis:
Louisiana and Mississippi residents were under evacuation orders on Monday as Hurricane Sally swirled over the Gulf of Mexico and intensified into a hurricane ahead of the expected landing on Tuesday, the US National Hurricane Center said.
The second storm to threaten the region in less than a month, Sally was en route to a slow-motion landing that could cause harmful rains on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Residents from Louisiana to Florida have been told to expect storm surges and high winds as well.
Mississippi and Louisiana issued mandatory evacuation orders to residents of low-lying areas, and President Trump issued a disaster declaration for both states. In Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey declared a state of emergency, closed the state’s beaches and recommended evacuations in lower-lying areas.
Mississippi ordered its coastal casinos to close late Monday afternoon. Schools in coastal communities from Louisiana to Florida canceled classes before the storm.
“We will bear the brunt of this storm,” Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves told residents Monday, warning that rainfall could exceed 20 inches along the coast.
“We need to make sure everything is tied down and out of the way so it doesn’t swim away or blow up,” said Steve Forstall, a port clerk in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.
In the coastal city, which is about 80 km northeast of New Orleans, water ran from the bay onto the beach road early Monday. Workers have been seen getting into houses and securing items like trash cans that can become projectiles in strong winds. Residents helped each other fill sandbags at a home improvement station, and some people parked cars and boats on a higher level, expecting flooded streets.
The U.S. Coast Guard restricted traffic from the Port of New Orleans while energy companies slowed or reduced refinery production and tried to pull workers off offshore oil and gas rigs.
At 4 p.m. CDT (2100 GMT), Sally was 170 km east of the Mississippi Estuary and had sustained winds of 155 km per hour, according to the NHC.
The storm will approach southeast Louisiana on Monday evening but will not land until sometime on Tuesday, the NHC said. Its slow movement is expected to shed 20 to 40 cm off the coast and cause widespread river flooding.
An expected turn to the north will be “critically important to the New Orleans area,” said Jim Foerster, chief meteorologist at DTN, a provider of energy, agricultural and weather data. Mississippi seems more likely to land, but Sally’s greatest threat is that it will be a “rainmaker” over much of the Gulf Coast and in inland areas of Atlanta 3 to 4 inches (7.62 to 10.2 cm ) will fall. Said Foerster.
Residents of southwest Louisiana are still clearing rubble and tens of thousands of homes are without power after Hurricane Laura left a trail of destruction. Sally’s path remains east of this badly affected area.
The US Federal Emergency Management Agency has made additional resources available to Sally so as not to take away aid from southwest Louisiana, Governor John Bel Edwards said on Monday. There are more than 12,000 Laura evacuees staying in New Orleans hotels and Edwards advised them to “stay at your shelter.”
Sally damage is projected to hit $ 2-3 billion, but could exceed if the storm’s strongest rainfall falls over land rather than in the Gulf, said Chuck Watson of Enki Research, who models and tracks tropical storms.
Sally is the 18th named storm in the Atlantic this year and will be the eighth tropical storm or hurricane magnitude to hit the United States – something “very rare, if not a record,” said Dan Kottlowski, chief meteorologist at AccuWeather, and These precise dates noted on historical tropical storms can be elusive.
(This story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)