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17 September, 2020 10:44:11 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 17 September, 2020 03:54:43 PM
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Half a million left without power by hurricane Sally

BBC, London
Half a million left without power by hurricane Sally
Photo: Collected

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.

"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.

Rain appeared to fall sideways in Alabama, which led to submerged roads as the storm inched ashore. Other areas along the coast were also affected, with beaches and highways swamped in Mississippi and low-lying properties in Louisiana covered by the rising waters.

Alabama, Florida and Mississippi all declared states of emergency ahead of the storm.

John De Block, at the National Weather Service in Birmingham, Alabama, told the New York Times that Sally was drifting "at the speed of a child in a candy shop".

Sally's pace may be linked to climate change, according to experts. A 2018 study in Nature magazine found that the speed at which hurricanes and tropical storms move over an area had decreased by 10% between 1949 and 2016, a drop that was linked to an increase in total rainfall.

"Sally has a characteristic that isn't often seen, and that's a slow forward speed and that's going to exacerbate the flooding," NHC deputy director Ed Rappaport told the Associated Press.

In addition to Sally, there are four other tropical cyclones - Paulette, Rene, Teddy and Vicky - swirling in the Atlantic Ocean basin.

TH

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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