Sally downgraded to Cat 1 hurricane, continues to bring destructive rains to Alabama coast
GULF SHORES, Alabama - As of 8 a.m. Hurricane Sally has decreased its speed and been downgraded to a Category 1 storm.
The storm system made landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama around 4:45 a.m. Wednesday as a slow-moving Category 2 storm. Sally pushed a surge of ocean water onto the coast and unleashed punishing rains on the region.
But heavy rains are nothing new for the area, according to an ABC affiliate station in Alabama, rain amounts of 10-20 inches are common for the coastal area.
The station says officials will be assessing the damage from wind and flooding over the next few hours and provides an optimistic outlook, saying weather conditions are expected to gradually improve along the coast later today as Sally weakens and moves away.
That said, WBRZ obtained footage of individuals riding out the storm, and one video showed a man fighting to keep the doors to his home closed as torrential winds and rains threatened to hurl them open and fill his house with water and storm debris.
In addition to this, poweroutage.us reports that nearly 500,000 homes and businesses have already lost electricity as of Wednesday morning.
In addition to the destructive rains in Alabama, The Associated Press reports that part of Florida’s Highway 98, which runs parallel to the Gulf of Mexico, is blocked by debris and downed power lines as a result of the storm.
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office tweeted a warning to residents, urging them to stay home as roads in the area “are dangerous right now.” The agency says numerous roads in the area are closed due to the storm.
At the order of Governor John Bel Edwards, Louisiana is sending aid to Biloxi, with power trucks and supplies already en route.
For additional information on Hurricane Sally, visit WBRZ's Hurricane Center for updates.
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