Sally Leaves Massive Floods on Gulf Coast

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The slow-moving Sally continued to wreak havoc on the Gulf Coast despite having weakened to a tropical depression, bringing storm surges over five feet to Pensacola, Fla.

As of this morning, officials are urging residents of Santa Rosa County who live on the Blackwater River, Coldwater Creek and Pond Creek to leave as soon as possible, with rivers and creeks are expected to rise.

"Now is the time to leave," Brad Baker, Santa Rosa county public safety director said at around 8:15 a.m. this morning, according to the Pensacola News Journal.

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Two deaths were blamed on the storm — one was killed when a tree fell on an Atlanta home, and another was confirmed dead in Alabama, though no details were available, according to The Weather Channel.

The Associated Press reported that 200 National Guard members were being deployed in the Pensacola area today to help.

A large piece of the Pensacola Bay Bridge was missing after the storm brought high winds and storm surge. A tweet from the city of Gulf Breeze showed the bridge with a crane lying across it on Wednesday morning.

A separate tweet from a neighboring county showed the massive hole in the structure. Estimates say it make take from 30 to 60 days to repair the structure.

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said at one point, a barge broke from its mooring and threatened to crash into Interstate 10’s Escambia Bay Bridge.

At least 377 people were rescued from floodwaters along the Florida panhandle; the Pensacola area has already seen more than two feet of rainfall from Sally, and meteorologists predict that up to 35 inches of rain could fall in coastal communities, according to The New York Times.

The storm saturated the Gulf Coast as it crept northeast at about 9 mph, the paper reported.

Initially expected to hit remote southeastern Louisiana and possibly New Orleans, the storm instead hammered more populated areas around Mobile, Ala., and Pensacola.

By late Wednesday, the floodwaters had begun to recede, but the National Weather Service warned that extensive river flooding would be a concern all the way through the weekend, according to CNBC.

“This year we’ve just got hurricane after hurricane,” said Matt Lane, 23, a member of a crew from New Hampshire Electric Coop, who arrived late on Tuesday directly from Hurricane Laura recovery efforts in Texas.

Sportsman Marina in Orange Beach, Ala., was shown with destroyed docks and sunken boats in a video by Dustin Clouatre via Storyful.

Check out the video of the damage here.

Photos showed crushed boats and debris on Dauphin Island in Alabama.

Sally was the 18th named storm in the Atlantic this year, and the eighth that hit the United States with tropical storm or hurricane strength, CNBC said. 


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