Hurricane Sally lashes US Gulf Coast; Half a million left without power
Tropical Storm Sally has left more than half a million Americans without power as its torrential rains and storm surges lashed the US Gulf coast.
Winds slowed after Sally made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday, but the storm continues to batter the US states of Florida and Alabama as it moves at a glacial pace over the area.
Flooding has caused major damage.
Pensacola, in Florida, was badly hit, with a loose barge bringing down part of the Bay Bridge, reports BBC.
“Catastrophic and life-threatening flooding continues over portions of the Florida Panhandle and southern Alabama,” the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
The storm has brought “four months of rain in four hours” to the city, Pensacola fire chief Ginny Cranor told CNN.
Sally made landfall at Gulf Shores, Alabama, at 04:45 local time on Wednesday, with maximum wind speeds of 105mph (169 km/h).
The storm later become a tropical depression with winds decreasing to 35mph, but it has been the torrents of rainfall and high storm surges that have caused most damage.
As the storm moved north from the coast, some 550,000 residents in affected areas were left in the dark on Wednesday night, according to local reports.
Sally is one of several storms in the Atlantic Ocean, with officials running out of letters to name the hurricanes as they near the end of their annual alphabetic list.