Clinton and Randal Ream with their son Saylor and daughter Nayvie and their two neighbors Aubrey Miller and Harmony Morgan in their home in a small trailer park in West Pensacola. The area was badly damaged after Hurricane Sally hit Pensacola, La., A Category 2 hurricane on September 16, 2020.
Bryan Tarnowski | The Washington Post via Getty Images
Hurricane Sally moved northeast Thursday after causing massive flooding and destruction on the US Gulf Coast. The storm landed in Alabama yesterday as a Category 2 slow hurricane before breaking the Florida Panhandle, where it hit the city of Pensacola with more than two feet of rain.
The National Weather Service warned that river flooding will be a serious problem throughout the weekend. Although Sally was downgraded to a tropical depression on Wednesday, the storm is still releasing heavy rain and winds as it moves northeast, and forecasters expect it will bring more than a foot of rain in some areas.
When Sally first landed over the Gulf Coast on Wednesday, she was moving less than 5 miles per hour, an incredibly slow pace that is causing more destruction and has links to climate change.
As a result of Sally's slow movement and stalling, entire neighborhoods were severely damaged by heavy storm surges and record rainfall, which caused floods of more than two meters in some areas. Unstoppable rain flooded streets, houses, and cars, and a five-foot storm surge drifted a barge in Florida.
A section of a large bridge crossing Pensacola Bay broke off during the storm and a ship was demolished from a dock in Pensacola waters.
The speed of tropical storms landing has slowed over the past few decades, and some research suggests that global warming, particularly in the Arctic, slowed the hurricane pace by slowing the jet stream.
More than 300 people have been saved from flooding in Escambia County and at least one person has died in Orange Beach, Alabama, according to the mayor.
Hundreds of thousands of people in Alabama and Florida were also without power from Sally, prompting weather officials to urge residents to use their generators with caution. When Hurricane Laura hit Louisiana and Texas in August, several people died from carbon monoxide poisoning from their generators.
Climate change has caused more frequent and more devastating hurricanes and forest fires that are currently burning in the western United States. The arid conditions caused by climate change made this year's flames the worst in history.
Sally was the eighth tropical storm or hurricane to hit the United States this year, and two more storms are currently developing in the Atlantic.
This year is set to be one of the worst hurricane seasons in the US ever, in part due to rising ocean temperatures. The National Hurricane Center is running out of letters for impending storms.
A man rides his bicycle down a street flooded by Hurricane Sally on September 16, 2020 in Pensacola, Florida. – Hurricane Sally hit the US Gulf Coast flooding early Wednesday.
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