The remnants of Hurricane Sally are dropping torrential rain on Southeastern states - and its center was still in Alabama early Thursday, more than 24 hours after making landfall as a Category 2 hurricane.
In Gulf Shores, Alabama - near where Sandy first made landfall as a hurricane on Wednesday - the storm sheared off the face of a beachside apartment complex.
The winds howled fast enough to topple a tractor-trailer onto its side as it was driven down an Alabama highway, according to video published by CBS News. The storm flipped boats and cars and even caused significant damage to a bridge outside of Pensacola, Florida. - Dioceses in Florida and Alabama have shut down offices and schools as a large storm has flooded numerous houses and left over half a million people without power.
The storm has also caused at least one death and another person to be missing in the town of Orange Beach, the BBC reported.
The NHC said Sally hit Gulf Shores, about 35 miles west of Pensacola, with winds of about 105 miles per hour (169 kilometers per hour). Along the coast, piers were ripped away by the storm surge and winds. Reports from Perdido Key show downed trees and power lines, damaged structures, and inches of floodwater.
"We believe it was hurricane-related, but we have no definitive proof of that right now", said Trent Johnson, a police lieutenant in Orange Beach, Ala.
In Pensacola, wind gusts were clocked at 125kph, and images on social media showed major floods.
"We feel a lot forgotten back here", she said. "It's slowing our progress down". "Please stay off roadways now".
The storm is now a tropical depression, but it's bringing new flood threats to Georgia and South Carolina Thursday, the National Hurricane Center says. There are three named storms in the Atlantic, none now threatening the United States.
At the start of the week, it was one of a record-tying five storms churning simultaneously in the Atlantic basin. "That's going to happen here soon, Wilfred, and then we'll be into the Greek alphabet".
Hurricanes have increased in intensity and destructiveness since the 1980s as the climate has warmed, according to researchers at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The NHC also said tropical storm Beta had formed in the Gulf of Mexico and was expected to be near hurricane strength by Sunday.
Energy companies were returning Gulf of Mexico offshore oil crews and assessing damages to coastal facilities. About 1.1 million bpd of U.S. refining capacity were offline on Wednesday, according to the U.S. Energy Department, including two plants under fix since Hurricane Laura and another halted by weak demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.