Hurricane Sally is crawling toward the northern Gulf Coast at just 2 mph, a pace that's enabling the storm to gather huge amounts of water to eventually dump on land.
Forecasters now expect landfall late Tuesday or early Wednesday near the Alabama-Mississippi state line. Rain from the storm's outer bands is already pummeling parts of the Florida Panhandle, where Gov. Ron DeSantis declared an emergency.
In Alabama on Monday, Gov. Kay Ivey asked for a federal Emergency Disaster Declaration as the weather service warned of a storm surge of more than 9 feet in the Mobile area. Her office announced Tuesday morning that Alabama was approved for the declaration.
She also closed all Alabama beaches at 3 p.m. Monday, and recommended the evacuation, especially of non-residents, and those living in flood-prone areas south of Interstate 10.
Ivey is expected to provide an update on Tuesday at 10 a.m. She'll be joined by Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director Brian Hastings and John De Block from the National Weather Service. You can watch it live on air and online at WAAY 31.
President Donald Trump has also declared an emergency for parts of Louisiana and Mississippi.
Sally has sustained winds of 85 mph, which forecasters expect it to maintain until it hits land.
You can find a statement from Gov. Kay Ivey on Tuesday below:
“As we continue making preparations for Hurricane Sally to impact Alabama, I thank President Trump and his Administration for approving our request so quickly. We will continue closely monitoring the developments today, and I urge everyone in the coastal areas south of I-10 and in low-lying areas to take all precautions and heed advice from weather experts and local officials. Please stay vigilant, Alabama.”
Alabama has been approved for an Emergency Disaster Declaration. Thank you @POTUS for approving our request so quickly! Everyone in the coastal areas south of I-10 & in low-lying areas, please heed all warnings & advice from weather experts & local officials. #alwx #alpolitics https://t.co/UErX9RnyRQ
— Governor Kay Ivey (@GovernorKayIvey) September 15, 2020