• DTS.USA
    5.320
    -0.013
    -0.2%
  • NTI.USA
    2.800
    0.000
    0%
  • NTID.USA
    2.760
    -0.100
    -3.5%
  • NTIDL.USA
    1.940
    -0.100
    -4.9%
  • OTRI.USA
    6.190
    0.010
    0.2%
  • OTVI.USA
    12,391.500
    -166.900
    -1.3%
  • DTS.USA
    5.320
    -0.013
    -0.2%
  • NTI.USA
    2.800
    0.000
    0%
  • NTID.USA
    2.760
    -0.100
    -3.5%
  • NTIDL.USA
    1.940
    -0.100
    -4.9%
  • OTRI.USA
    6.190
    0.010
    0.2%
  • OTVI.USA
    12,391.500
    -166.900
    -1.3%
InsightsNewsWeather and Critical Events

More ports closing ahead of Hurricane Sally (with forecast video)

Major flooding is likely

Hurricane Sally continues to wander through the northern Gulf of Mexico, trudging toward the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Conditions will gradually deteriorate Tuesday prior to landfall Tuesday night/early Wednesday. Sally is already producing heavy rainfall and tropical storm force winds (39 to 73 mph) from Alabama to western Florida, with hurricane-force winds setting in later Tuesday afternoon into the evening.

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has been suspending ship-to-shore operations at many ports over the past two days. The latest closures are the ports of Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Plaquemines, South Louisiana, St. Bernard and the Venice complex, all in Louisiana.

Even though Sally’s winds will not get much stronger, it will be a dangerous hurricane. Because it is slow moving — its forward speed has dwindled to just 2 mph — prolonged torrential rainfall, along with storm surge, will lead to major flooding. Potential roadblocks are possible along the Interstate 10 corridor and portions of other interstates and secondary routes.

Sally could generate up to 10 feet of storm surge and 20 inches or more of rainfall in some spots, leading to what the NHC describes as potential “historic flooding” and “extreme life-threatening flash flooding.”

A hurricane warning remains in place from east of the mouth of the Pearl River to Navarre, Florida, with a tropical storm warning from the mouth of the Pearl River westward to Grand Isle, Louisiana. This includes Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas and the New Orleans metropolitan area.

A storm surge warning is in effect for Mobile Bay, as well as from the mouth of the Mississippi River to the Okaloosa-Walton County line in Florida.

After landfall, Sally will weaken. However, the storm could produce heavy rainfall and flash flooding from central Alabama to northern Georgia Thursday and Friday.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

Nick Austin

Nick is a meteorologist with 20 years of forecasting and broadcasting experience. He was nominated for a Midsouth Emmy for his coverage during a 2008 western Tennessee tornado outbreak. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from the Georgia Tech. Nick is a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in February 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” eight consecutive years.