Hurricane Sally Makes Landfall as a Cat 2 Storm

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NOAA photo.

NOAA photo.

Hurricane Sally made landfall as a Category 2 storm this morning near Gulf Shores, Ala., with sustained winds of 105 mph, and the storm is continuing its slow path inland, prolonging the storm’s impact.

Flooding rainfall and strong winds continue to pound areas near and just inland from the northern Gulf Coast, particularly in parts of the Florida Panhandle and southern Alabama, according to the Weather Channel.

A tornado watch is in effect for southeast Alabama, the Florida Panhandle and southwest Georgia until 7 p.m. EDT.

High water rescues were underway after the storm, now a Category 1, flooded homes and toppled trees, Gulf Shores city spokesman Grant Brown told CNN.

Sally’s trudging pace, which has tracked at around 3 mph, has caused some areas to collect more than 15 inches of rain; forecasters say that could grow to 35 inches by the storm’s end.

AP images show floodwaters have turned streets into rivers in Pensacola, Fla., and pieces of hazardous debris "have become too numerous to list," police warned.

Rainfall totals of 10 to 35 inches are possible across parts of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, from Mobile Bay to Tallahassee.

The storm's slow forward speed is expected to continue through Wednesday as it turns to the north and then northeast, taking with it strong winds and more flooding potential.

"Nothing is going to go away anytime soon," National Hurricane Center director Ken Graham told CNN. "The winds, the torrential rainfall, the slow movement and the storm surge — this is a dangerous situation all around."

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