Hundreds of people were trapped by floodwaters and had to be rescued Thursday by emergency workers using high-water vehicles and personal watercraft.
All eyes are on the southwestern Gulf of Mexico as Tropical Depression Twenty-Two is forecast to strengthen into Tropical Storm Wilfred by Friday night as it gradually meanders to the north. Just hours later, a subtropical storm developed in the far northeastern Atlantic, so that system was named Alpha. The prior record for the earliest 21st named storm was Wilma on October 8, 2005, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach. That's happened only once before, in 2005, which holds the record for the busiest season.
One positive seen among major hurricanes moving very slowly is that they usually begin to weaken before the highest wind speeds reach land. "It's really slowing down being able to get all the utility trucks where they need to be". By late Wednesday, the floodwaters had started to recede in some areas, though the National Weather Service warned that extensive river flooding would be a concern through the weekend.
Residents in and around Panama City saw their roads turned into rivers.
And in Florida, authorities were looking for a missing kayaker who was feared dead, Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said. Kennon said he couldn't immediately release details.
By the afternoon, authorities in Escambia County, Florida said at least 377 people had been rescued from flooded areas.
Florida Guard troops evacuated 113 people stranded by the storm, as of Thursday morning, said Lt. Col. Caitlin Brown, a spokeswoman for the Florida National Guard.
About 56 kilometres inland, a swollen Murder Creek cut off access between the Alabama towns of Brewton and East Brewton, inundating a grocery store, a tobacco shop, a park and more.
An estimated 30 inches of rain fell just north of Pensacola.
Another resident, Toby Wallace, 49, said the storm surge brought 3 feet (91 cm) of water into his elevated home. Meanwhile, Baker said they are doing everything to catch the barge before it poses damage to other structures.
More than 515,000 homes and businesses in Alabama and Florida have lost power, according to the tracking site poweroutage.us.
The destruction came after the storm hit the region as a Category Two hurricane on Wednesday. Associated Press contributors include Russ Bynum in Savannah, Georgia; Sudhin Thanawala and Haleluya Hadero in Atlanta; Bobby Caina Calvan and Brendan Farrington in Tallahassee, Florida; Rebecca Santana in New Orleans; and Julie Walker in NY. Wilfred, the last name on the NHC's 2020 list of "Tropical Cyclone Names," went to a system in the eastern Atlantic that achieved tropical storm strength earlier on Friday, and the name Alpha, the first Greek name, went to a subtropical storm that near the coast of Portugal.
Multiple buildings, including the hospital, at Naval Air Station Pensacola sustained damage from Hurricane Sally as the storm dumped torrential rain and spread debris across the base Wednesday, several Navy officials said.
Joe Mirable surveys the damage to his business after Hurricane Sally moved through the area, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, in Perdido Key, Fla.
Slow-moving Sally, which was subsequently downgraded to a tropical storm, then lingered over parts of southern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle where it caused severe flooding with copious amounts of rain, the National Hurricane Center said.