Hurricane Sally’s outer bands hit the Gulf Coast Tuesday, bringing intense winds and heavy rain as the storm has continued to strengthen over the Gulf of Mexico.
Officials in Mississippi and Alabama warned that the Category II storm could bring a catastrophic storm surge and nonstop rain, made worse by its slowing speed, a local NBC outlet reported.
Statewide officials encouraged people living close to the coast to evacuate as soon as possible, urging them to take advantage of the storm’s slow speed to avoid the expected floods. Sally is expected to make landfall near southeastern Louisiana Tuesday afternoon before turning northward towards Biloxi, Mississippi and Mobile, Alabama, The New York Times reported.
“I’m well aware that those on the Gulf Coast are all too familiar with Mother Nature’s wrath,” Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said during a news conference Tuesday. “We still hope and pray Sally will not bring that type of pain and heartache, but my fellow Alabamians, Hurricane Sally is not to be taken for granted.” (RELATED: Hurricane Laura Makes Landfall As A Category 4 Storm)