Tropical Storm Sally is barrelling toward the Mississippi Gulf Coast and is expected to make landfall Tuesday afternoon.
Sally, which is expected to make hurricane status before landfall, was about 115 miles from the mouth of the Mississippi River and about 165 miles from Biloxi on Monday morning and had sustained winds of 65 mph while moving at about 8 mph toward the coastline.
The National Hurricane Center reported Monday morning that it was too early to determine where Sally’s center will move onshore, noting the uncertainty in the timing and location of the storm’s turn near the central gulf coast.
Sally was tracked to hit the dead center of the Mississippi Gulf coast, ripping up the state and turning toward Alabama and Georgia.
In preparation of the storm, the Mississippi Gulf Coast was issued a mandatory evacuation, the first of the season, as the National Hurricane Center expected deadly storm surges across the coast.
Despite the storm moving away from Pike County, the center noted the rain and wind from the storm will extend far beyond its center, so while the county is safe from the harshest effects, the threat of rain, wind and flooding is still present.
A hurricane warning was in effect for Morgan City, La. to the Mississippi/ Alabama border along with Lake Ponchartrain, Lake Maurepas and metropolitan New Orleans. A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Mississippi-Alabama border to Indian Pass, Fla., and Intracoastal City, La., to west of Morgan City, La.
A storm surge warning was in effect for Port Fourchon, La. to the Alabama-Florida border as well as Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas and Lake Borgne, along with Mobile Bay.
A hurricane watch was in effect for the Mississippi-Alabama border to the Alabama-Florida border while a tropical storm watch was in effect for Indian Pass to Ochlockonee River, Fla.