(Bloomberg) – Tropical Storm Sally is expected to hit New Orleans and southeastern Louisiana earlier this week, causing a dangerous storm surge, flooding rains and the potential to cause up to $ 4 billion damage and loss.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared an emergency as the state braced for its second coup in a month, and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a similar warning for the city. Sally has also triggered evacuations on some offshore energy platforms. Landing is expected to take place Tuesday morning.
Sally’s winds could reach 145 kilometers per hour as they approach southeast Louisiana, perhaps near the mouth of the Mississippi River, slightly less than earlier expected. It would be a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson five-step scale.
Hurricane and storm surge warnings have been issued for the coastal region, including New Orleans, the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory on Sunday. The storm could raise the ocean level 7 to 11 feet (2 to 3 meters) at the mouth of the Mississippi River, which could exceed some dikes.
“Sally is likely to become a very dangerous storm, with forecasts of slowing and strengthening as it approaches land,” said Jim Rouiller, chief meteorologist at Energy Weather Group. “A period of rapid escalation remains on the table.”
The storm’s path has shifted west, which means the threat to New Orleans is increasing and could potentially cause between $ 2 billion and $ 4 billion in damage and loss, Chuck Watson said , a disaster modeller at Enki Research. That price could rise even more if Sally gets stronger or takes longer to move around the area, or if water overwhelms flood control systems in New Orleans.
Sally will sweep the eastern edge of the offshore production area, likely halting oil and drilling for a short time and adding further disruption to the industry, Rouiller said. Hurricanes Marco and Laura, as well as Tropical Storm Cristobal, all halted work in the Gulf this season.
Chevron Corp. (NYSE 🙂 said on Saturday it was evacuating workers and shutting down production on its Blind Faith and Petronius platforms. Louisiana’s offshore oil port has suspended operations at the marine terminal as Tropical Storm Sally approaches the Gulf of Mexico, according to its website
Mississippi bar pilots will also shut down operations on Sunday.
In addition to her storm surge, which can vary due to the tides and the exact location where the storm makes landfall, Sally will bring 12 inches of rain to the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Florida, the Center said. hurricanes. Some areas could grow up to 20 inches and heavy rains are expected to spread well inland later in the week.
“Heavy rain and power surges are probably the two biggest sources of damage,” said Adam Douty, meteorologist at AccuWeather Inc. “There could be flooding issues in many of these low areas.”
Sally is the 18th named storm of 2020 in the Atlantic. This is the first time the mark has been reached in records dating back to 1851, said Phil Klotzbach, senior author of the seasonal hurricane forecast at Colorado State University.
The previous record was set by Stan, which formed in October 2005. So far, seven storms have hit the United States in 2020, including Laura, which has devastated southwest Louisiana, and the Hurricane Isaias, which temporarily cut off power to millions of people in the northeast.
In addition to Sally, Tropical Storm Paulette is expected to turn into a hurricane as Bermuda approaches Sunday evening; a hurricane warning has been issued. Another Atlantic storm, René, weakened into a tropical depression.
There may soon be five tropical cyclones in the Atlantic, which has not happened since September 1971, said Jim Rouiller, chief meteorologist of the Energy Weather group.
Another tropical depression, currently nicknamed “20,” may soon turn into Tropical Storm Teddy and is located about 2,030 miles east of the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean. Another area of low pressure is found to the west of the Cabo Verde Islands.
(Updates with the statement of the Neo-Orelians in the second paragraph.)
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