President Trump said he was watching Hurricane Sally as the storm headed for the northern Gulf Coast early Tuesday, which could bring deadly storm surges, flash floods and the possibility of tornadoes to the region.
By 2 a.m., Sally was about 75 miles east-southeast of the Mississippi Estuary, moving west at 3 miles an hour. It has weakened slightly in the past few hours and now has maximum sustained winds of 90 mph, compared to 110 mph on Monday, according to the NHC.
“We are working closely with state and local leaders to help the great people of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. Be ready and listen to state and local leaders!” Trump tweeted.
The center of Sally will move near the coast in southeast Louisiana before landing in the hurricane warning area tonight or Wednesday morning.
Trump issued emergency statements for parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey moved for the president̵
“Some reinforcement is predicted later, and Sally is likely to be a dangerous hurricane if it moves ashore,” said the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami in its 2am recommendation .
MISSISSIPPI GOVERNOR WARNS COASTERS OF HURRICANE SALLY: “The time to get out is now”
Sally reached hurricane strength on Monday and quickly turned into a Category 2 storm with 100 mph winds. By early Tuesday morning, the storm’s maximum sustained winds had dropped to 90 mph, making it a Category 1 storm. Forecasters said some reinforcement is expected late Tuesday.
An extremely dangerous and “life threatening” storm surge is expected in areas outside of southeast Louisiana, the NHC said. Dangerous storm surges, rains and wind hazards are expected to be far from Sally’s center.
HURRICANE SALLY LIVE UPDATES: GET THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS HERE
The slow moving storm is expected to produce 8 to 16 inches of rainfall by mid-week, with occasional amounts of 24 inches over parts of the central Gulf Coast. The rain is expected to hit an area from the Florida Panhandle to southeast Mississippi.
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“Life-threatening flash floods are likely,” said the NHC. “In addition, this rainfall is likely to result in widespread small to isolated large floods on rivers in the region.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report