Tropical Storm Sally is expected to strengthen into a Category 2 hurricane before making landfall along the Gulf Coast On Tuesday (September 15). Sally is the 18th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season and has sustained winds of around 60 mph as of Sunday, when it entered the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The storm is expected to slow down, which will give it time to gain strength before reaching the coast.
Forecasters said it is too soon to know exactly where Saly will make landfall and have issued hurricane warnings across Louisiana and Mississippi. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency while New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell ordered people who live outside of the city's levee system to evacuate.
Sally is expected to dump between six to 12 inches of rain, but some areas could see up to 20 inches of rainfall. In addition to the flooding rains, areas along the coast can expect storm surge between six and ten feet.
"Barely two weeks ago, Louisiana suffered a devastating blow when Hurricane Laura came ashore as the strongest hurricane ever to make landfall in Louisiana history, leaving a trail of destruction in its path," Edwards said. "This, when combined with the COVID-19 pandemic, can make us all weary. I implore Louisianans to take their preparations seriously."