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Hurricane Sally Creeps Towards U.S. Gulf Coast, Intensifying into Category 2 Storm

NOAA/NESDIS/STAR GOES-Gulf
NOAA/NESDIS/STAR GOES-Gulf

Hurricane Sally–now a category 1 storm–continues to intensify as it creeps across the mid-Atlantic towards the coastlines of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The storm is projected to make landfall Tuesday morning, bringing torrential rainfall and “extremely dangerous and life-threatening” storm surge, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Sally is following a west-northwest track, though forecasters say it’s uncertain where the hurricane’s center will move onshore.

The slow moving system is expected to linger as it crosses over land, bringing up to 24 inches of rain and 11 feet of storm surge in some places, according to the NHC. A hurricane watch remains in effect for areas stretching from southeast Louisiana through the Mississippi Gulf Coast to western Florida. Flash flooding is expected to impact large swaths of the U.S. southeast through the end of the week.

Louisiana is bracing for its second storm in less than a month after Hurricane Laura ripped through the state in August.

The category 4 hurricane was the strongest system to hit Louisiana on record. Many in the state’s southeast were forced to evacuate east towards New Orleans, which is now in the predicted path of Hurricane Sally.

Sally is one of five named tropical systems currently churning in the Gulf–a record level of activity reached only once in history.

Hurricane Paulette passed over Bermuda Monday dropping several inches of rain and producing dangerous surf and rip current conditions affecting islands throughout the Caribbean and United States east coast.

Tropical Storm Teddy, currently tracking northeast across the mid-Atlantic, is expected to strengthen into a major hurricane over the next several days. While on track to hit Bermuda, it’s uncertain whether the storm will make landfall. Tropical Storm Vicky and Tropical Depression Rene are both predicted to weaken within the next two days.

Direct Relief has pre-positioned several caches of emergency medical supplies along the U.S. Gulf Coast, including in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.

The organization has offered support to several state and local health agencies, including the Louisiana and Mississippi Public Health Departments and the Primary Care Associations of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida.

Direct Relief will continue to monitor the storm systems and respond to requests as they arise.

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