Heavy Rain, Flooding Threat for the Carolinas
Hurricane Sally made landfall as a category 2 hurricane with 105 mph sustained winds near Gulf Shores, AL at 4:45 am CST Wednesday morning. Gulf Shores sat in the eye of the Sally for more than two hours, as the storm crept slowly inland at 3mph battering the Gulf Coast with torrential rain, significant storm surge, and damaging wind.
As of 11 am, Hurricane Sally is a category 1 storm with 80 mph sustained winds. Radar estimates show more than 20″ of rain has already fallen across coastal Alabama and the Florida Panhandle leading to several flash flood emergencies taking place and more heavy rain to come.
This storm will continue to lose intensity and its identity, but the heavy rain threat will stretch into the southeast and across the Carolinas overnight. A Flash Flood Watch is in effect until Friday morning from the Florida Panhandle to the Virginia coast. The WCCB Viewing Area could see 4-6″+ of rainfall from late Wednesday through late Friday. The heaviest rain and most vulnerable hours for flooding will be Thursday morning through early Friday morning. Flash flooding is not the only concern, however, as heavy rain could lead to a rise in river and lake levels across the region. Showers will taper off Friday into Saturday, as a strong cold front brings in drier and cooler air for the weekend.