The worst of Hurricane Sally is over for the Gulf Coast as cleanup continues. Sally made landfall early Wednesday morning near Gulf Shores, Alabama, with sustained winds of 105 mph. The wind, plus prolonged torrential rainfall, forced closures on the Interstate 10 corridor. Various agencies had to rescue people from the flood waters.
As of early Thursday morning, I-10 is in better shape, with the Florida and Alabama departments of transportation reporting no closures. However, some secondary routes may still be shut down, and the Pensacola Bay Bridge remains closed due to damage sustained during the storm.
Ship-to-shore operations are still suspended at the following ports, according to the U.S. Coast Guard: Biloxi, Gulfport and Pascagoula, Mississippi; Mobile, Alabama; Pensacola, Florida; as well as the Venice Port complex in Louisiana.
Sally is now a tropical depression, centered 50 miles southeast of Montgomery, Alabama, as of 5 a.m. EDT Thursday. While its effects inland across the Southeast won’t be as devastating as along the Gulf Coast, Sally will produce very heavy rainfall and potentially widespread flash flooding from Georgia to the Carolinas. Some river flooding is also possible. Drivers may run into roadblocks and closures.
Sally could dump an additional 3 to 6 inches in portions of northern, central and eastern Georgia, with localized higher amounts. This is on top of 3 to 6 inches that have already fallen, prompting flash flood warnings from Atlanta to Macon.
The latest SONAR data shows that Atlanta is the No. 2 market in the country in terms of total available outbound freight. This is based on the Outbound Tender Volume Index (OTVI).
Central to upstate South Carolina could get drenched with 3 to 6 inches of rainfall, with isolated amounts of up to 10 inches.
Western to central North Carolina into south-central and southeast Virginia could see 4 to 6 inches, with pockets of 6- to 8-inch totals.
Tropical Depression Saly should move off the East Coast and into the Atlantic sometime Friday afternoon or Friday night.