Pensacola, Florida — Large-scale National Guard trucks drove into various sub-districts submerged by torrential flooding. Hundreds of people were rescued from flooded houses and cars. Earlier Wednesday, the dim brown rainwater released by Hurricane Sally was spinning below and a family of four was found clinging to a tree on a suburban street.
Passing through the streets of downtown Pensacola, water gushes like a river, and floods are inundated, reaching a height of five feet. Part of a major bridge across the bay was cleared. More than 400 people were rescued from the entire Escambia County including Pensacola.
Sally, a stubborn storm sailing over the Gulf of Mexico at a slow speed of 2 miles per hour for two days, violently hit the coasts of Florida and Alabama. The storm has been unpredictable from the beginning, and has continued to develop in its predicted path and intensity in recent days. When it approached landfall on Wednesday morning, it escalated into a Category 2 hurricane and suddenly turned to the east, damaging the Florida coast.
Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said: “I think many of us are beating ourselves this morning.” Instead, it had a “destructive impact” on the area, and flooding is expected Will reach a record level.
Sally’s poor pace is largely defined as: camping on the bay waters that are warmer than usual due to climate change, and cumbersome running to the coast. As forecasters feared, the storm crossed the land and still maintained its confusing speed, causing residents to swarm in, while the 105-mile-per-hour wind swept through houses, roofs, trees, and street-submerged roofs. Ten thousand people have no electricity.
The Pensacola area had already experienced more than two feet of rain before making landfall this week, and meteorologists said that coastal communities could land 35 inches. Officials said the area also faces the threat of flooding, especially on the Pedido and Escambia rivers.
Sally made landfall on the Gulf Coast of Alabama at about 5 a.m. Central Time, passed through Florida Panhandle and returned to Alabama before weakening into a tropical depression. However, the flooding is not expected to disappear soon. By Wednesday night, the storm extended to western Georgia and continued to crawl northeast at 9 miles per hour
Parking lots in both states are like ponds, and hurricanes continue to hit homes and businesses.
In Pensacola, the largest city near the Florida-Alabama interstate, this situation made it difficult to assess the severity of the disaster immediately, but it quickly became apparent that Sally had become the part that struck the coast. One of the most destructive storms in the region in recent years. Tony Kennon, the mayor of Orange Beach, Alabama, said the storm resulted in one death.
Escambia County Administrator Janice P. Gilley said in a briefing that local officials have asked the state and federal governments for help. She said: “We are asking for more assets.” “We are asking for more people.”
When the sun began to peek through the clouds, videos from residents and local media showed houses torn by strong winds, house mooring cables torn, and power lines demolished in many towns. According to the National Weather Service, a casino barge near Coden, Alabama, broke due to strong winds and storm surges and crashed into a dock.
Hurricane Sally struck the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Ivan, a category three hurricane. The hurricane poured about 16 inches of rain in Pensacola and was one of the strongest hurricanes that hit the area.
“Man, it was just unloaded,” Tim Booth, a semi-retired truck driver, said of Sally, who chopped off and landed in Mobile Bay, Alabama. A fir tree outside Loxley’s home. “It feels like Ivan.”
He spent a miserable night at home with his wife and 19-year-old son, which was a one-door trailer because it was blown much stronger than expected. He said: “After midnight, we really started to feel it.”
The city of Mobile, which was actually closed while waiting for the storm, saw gusts of high winds that made the high-rise Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel sway like an earthquake. Outside, debris from the damaged building cluttered the sidewalk, including large slabs flying out of the overhang of the valet parking.
On Interstate 65, some drivers passed the double-span high bridge over the Moby River. Throughout the area, the roads are almost blocked by branches and debris. On Interstate 59 in Alabama, south to the Gulf Coast, the northbound lane was chopped down by trees, allowing motorists to drive on the other side of the highway.
Officials urged residents of the area to stay at home when safe, describing the turbulent and dangerous landscape in the area. Officials said the storm destroyed part of the three-mile bridge across Pensacola Bay.
In other places along the Gulf Coast, the situation has eased. Over the past few days, the storm has strained a wide area of the coast, because every time the residents predicted that their expected route would change greatly.
The slowness and volatility of storms is partly due to climate change, and researchers have found that climate change makes hurricanes more humid. As the atmosphere warms, it can hold more water. However, there is evidence that it can also slow them down, allowing storms to bomb areas hit by long rains and high winds, such as Hurricane Harvey in 2017. The storm stopped in southeastern Texas and produced 60 inches of rain for five days.
In 1979, Tropical Storm Claudette dropped 43 inches of rain in Alvin, Texas, setting a record in one day.
This hurricane season is the most active season on record. The National Hurricane Center has 20 named storms, so its letters quickly ran out in subsequent storms.
According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, on Monday, before the Rene Tropical Depression disbanded, five simultaneous storms occurred in the Atlantic region at the same time, which has not occurred since 1971.
On the Florida coast, Sally’s difficult eastward turn made Joe Hernandez so worried that a storm swept through the suburb of Cantonment outside Pensacola, and he stayed up all night.
He said that the wind damaged his back fence and shed, and on some nearby streets, water crawled to his waist. The street has also become a Venetian canal, except for the wide green suburban lawns, beautiful brick houses with basketball hoops and two garages.
For newcomers, this may be surreal, but for Mr. Hernandez it is not. He said the area has experienced flooding in his 18 years, sometimes after hurricanes and sometimes after normal storms.
Soon, the Florida National Guard drove around in an open convertible truck, strolling around the trapped people. Some of them started looking for people to rescue as early as 7 o’clock in the morning when the wind rose. They took people to a safe place and they could no longer drive down the street. They rescued the drivers trapped in the seemingly deep flood.
In the late afternoon, Mr. Hernandez and his wife Tammy Hurd, 53, were rescued from their blue SUV
When they were in their 70s, they drove to a nearby house to check on a couple. Then they decided to try to drive along Bristol Park Road. Soon, their SUV was submerged in the flood until the headlights.
The National Guard truck found them, and soon they roared to safety in the water.
This is not a life-and-death rescue; it is more like a rescue from inconvenience. The neighbors are standing in the driveway or on the high lawn, watching.
The truck woke up and pushed some water towards the house, angering some people who saw the waves rolling towards the house. A man walked out of his garage and drove towards the guards.
“Slow down!” he shouted.
Soon, Mr. Hernandez and Ms. Hurd returned home. Mr. Hernandez, a veteran of the Air Force, was grateful. He was very grateful that he was safe. Nevertheless, he is still worried about his SUV in the middle of Bristol Park Road.
He said: “This is my only car.” “I don’t know what to do.”
Richard Fawcett Reporting from Cantonmont, Florida, Mobile, Alabama, and Pensacola, Roxley, Alabama, Rick Rojas From Atlanta, and Nicholas Bogle Blaus From New York. Daniel Victor Report from London, Will Wright From Jersey City, New Jersey Johnny Diaz (Johnny Diaz) From New York.