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Tropical Storm Sally Could Hit Gulf States as Category 1 Storm

Tropical Storm Sally, currently located in the northern Gulf of Mexico, could intensify into a hurricane by the time it reaches land, where it could bring “a deadly duo of human height storm surge and a foot of more of rainfall” to Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, according to The Weather Channel.

Currently, a hurricane warning is in effect through portions of southeastern Louisiana east of Morgan City, eastward to the Mississippi/Alabama border, including New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas. Hurricane conditions (74 mph winds or greater) are expected in some parts of this area by late Monday and Tuesday. In addition, hurricane watches and tropical storm warnings and watches are in effect to west and east of the hurricane warning, including parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) says that “and extremely dangerous and life-threatening storm surge” is expected outside of the southeastern Louisiana Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction system, from Port Fourchon to the Alabama/Florida border. In addition, “life-threatening flash flooding” is likely, as is widespread minor to major isolated flooding, along rivers and just inland of the Central Gulf Coast.  

As for the storm surge, it could reach between seven and 11 feet from the mouth of the Mississippi River to Ocean Springs, MS, including Lake Borgne. The Weather Channel also noted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a “rare” high risk of excessive rainfall for southeast Louisiana, coastal Mississippi and coastal Alabama Tuesday into Wednesday.

Sally is currently 100 miles east-southeast of Louisiana. The storm should reach the coast late Monday night into Tuesday and could be a Category 1 storm by that time. As for where it will track once it reaches land, the NHC says it is still too early to determine—although it adds that “dangerous storm surge, rainfall and wind hazards will extend well away from the center.”

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