DESTIN, Fla. - Sally continues to weaken as it moves over the South after hitting the Gulf Coast as a Category 2 hurricane but is still a dangerous rainmaker as it moves into Georgia on a path to the Carolinas.
At least one person has died. Winds and rain, measured in feet, not inches, swamped homes and forced the rescue of hundreds as Sally pushed inland.
The death happened in Orange Beach, Alabama, according to Mayor Tony Kennon, who also told The Associated Press that one person was missing. Kennon said he couldn’t immediately release details.
The tropical depression’s maximum sustained winds early Thursday have decreased to near 30 mph with additional weakening expected.
Moving at just 3 mph, or about as fast as a person can walk, the storm made landfall at 4:45 a.m. close to Gulf Shores, Alabama, about 30 miles from Pensacola, Florida. It accelerated to a light jog as it battered the Pensacola and Mobile, Alabama, metropolitan areas encompassing nearly 1 million people.
Authorities have warned that rain from the storm could swell eight waterways in Florida and Alabama to record levels. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis warned residents and visitors of possible river flooding in the coming days.
Meanwhile, Teddy has become a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph, the NHC said.
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The storm is currently located about 625 miles east-northeast of The Lesser Antilles. Teddy is moving toward the northwest at about 12 miles per hour, the general motion it is expected to continue through the weekend.
Additional strengthening is forecasted to happen during the next couple of days, and Teddy could become a major hurricane Thursday night or Friday, the center said.