Submerged streets, high winds and power cuts: the US state of Alabama and northwestern Florida were swept by rains from Category 2 Hurricane Sally on Wednesday, causing “catastrophic” flooding.
The storm carries squalls of up to 155 km / h, and moves slowly (at just 6 km / h), which means continuous rains over the same areas for an extended period, intensifying the rising waters.
In the early hours of the morning, the streets of the city of Pensacola and its 50,000 inhabitants, in the far northwest of Florida, were transformed into torrents, according to numerous videos circulating on social networks.
About 40 miles away, in Alabama, other images showed the marina in the seaside town of Orange Beach being swept away, with pleasure boats blown by the winds to the docks amid debris.
Rainfall of 20 to 30 cm is expected on the coasts of these two states in the southeast of the United States, which will cause rivers to overflow, the NHC warned.
Tornado alerts have also been issued.
The hurricane also caused “significant damage” around the city of Mobile, reported the company Alabama Power, whose more than 150,000 customers were without power.
In total, according to the poweroutage.com site, more than 270,000 homes had no electricity on Wednesday morning in this state, as well as 230,000 in Florida.
Sally will travel through southeast Alabama and northwest Florida until Thursday morning, before arriving in mid-state Georgia on Thursday afternoon, the Center said. national hurricane.
The storm is expected to weaken during the day and night as it advances inland.
President Donald Trump had invited the inhabitants of Alabama, as well as the states of Louisiana and Mississippi, to be extremely cautious in the face of this “extremely dangerous” climatic episode, but which he assured to be “under control”.