Hurricane Sally, a plodding storm with winds of 85 mph, crept toward the northern Gulf Coast on Tuesday as forecasters warned of potentially deadly storm surges and flash floods with the heaviest downpours dumping nearly 2 feet of rain. Forecasters said the storm's drifting pace made it difficult to predict precisely where the storm's eye would make landfall, per the AP. But they kept nudging the predicted track eastward, easing fears in New Orleans, which was once in Sally's crosshairs. By late morning Tuesday, hurricane warnings stretched from east of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, to Navarre, Florida, and forecasters said Sally should reach land near the Alabama-Mississippi state line by late Tuesday or early Wednesday. Rainfall of up to 20 inches was forecast near the coast, with a chance the storm could also spawn tornadoes.
Stacy Stewart, a senior specialist with the National Hurricane Center, said Tuesday that people should continue to take the storm seriously since “devastating” rainfall is expected in large areas. People could drown in the flooding, he said. “This is going to be historic flooding along with the historic rainfall,” Stewart said. “If people live near rivers, small streams, and creeks, they need to evacuate and go somewhere else.” The storm was moving at only 2 mph late Tuesday morning, centered about 110 miles south of Mobile, Alabama, and 55 miles east of the mouth of the Mississippi River. Hurricane-force winds stretched 45 miles from its center. The slow pace is allowing the storm to gather huge amounts of water.
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