More than 150,000 people on the Gulf Coast are already without electricity and thousands have been evacuated before the storm.
Satellite imagery of Sally suggests eye reform early Wednesday, which is another sign of empowerment, said CNN meteorologist Michael Guy.
Precipitation of 1
The slow nature of the storm also means that hurricane-force winds and storm surges are in the area longer, especially east of the storm center.
Flash floods of 6 to 10 inches of rainfall were seen in Georgia and the Carolinas later that week as the storm moves inland and weakens.
Widespread power outages and water repairs were delayed
Those en route from Sally also suffer from water outages as conditions for repairs to utility companies are unsafe due to the storm.
The Escambia County Utilities Authority issued a warning Tuesday that due to storm conditions and bridge closures off Sally, they are unable to respond to a significant waterpipe break in Pensacola Beach.
The water system had to be shut down at around 11 p.m. as, according to the ECUA, storm surges and tides will also flood the sewage collection system.
“We urge the residents who are still on the beach in Pensacola to save water if possible. ECUA will send the crews to locate the break and carry out repairs as soon as possible after the storm,” it said the message.
Businesses close and military bases restrict access
Shops are also closing because of the storm. Walmart announces 54 closings due to Sally, Walmart spokesman Scott Pope told CNN on Tuesday.
“We are following the storm in real time and have activated our emergency operations center to support our employees in the affected areas,” said Pope.
On the Gulf Coast, three military establishments have announced that only mission-critical personnel should report to work on Wednesday.
The installations include Naval Air Station Pensacola in Escambia County, Florida, Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi, and Eglin Air Force Base in Pensacola.
The 53rd weather reconnaissance squadron, which is often referred to as “Hurricane Hunters”, is located in Keeslar.
Evacuate and prepare residents
Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for much of the coastline and lower-lying areas from Mississippi to Florida. Shelters were opened for these evacuees.
People have been preparing for Sally since the weekend, filling sandbags, getting supplies and preparing their houses.
Merrill Warren of Summerdale, Alabama, about 16 miles inland from the Gulf, told CNN that he brought furniture, bought gasoline and other supplies, and prepared his generator for the storm.
On Tuesday evening, he reported that heavy rains and winds of up to 39 miles per hour had already occurred inland. Warren said he was more concerned about the potential for increased rainfall and waves than anything else.
“This is not the first Category 1 hurricane I’ve been through. I was there through Hurricane Nate and Tropical Storm Gordon,” Warren said. “I’m more concerned about the rain for this one … The rain and storms will definitely be the bigger problem when a storm is moving at 2 mph.”
CNN’s Devon Sayers, Joe Sutton, Sharif Paget, Micahel Guy, Dave Hennen, Rebekah Riess, Kay Jones and Amanda Jackson contributed to this report.