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Rain may be county's biggest danger from Sally

Rain may be county's biggest danger from Sally


The good thing about a slow-moving hurricane?

It gives you time to prepare.

The bad thing? Everything else.

Enterprise City and Coffee County schools are closed Wednesday as Hurricane Sally is expected to make landfall somewhere on the northern Gulf Coast between Mobile and New Orleans.

The hurricane’s track has shifted a little to the east but is mainly stationary according to a news release sent by Coffee County EMA Director James Brown on Tuesday afternoon. The future track remains a bit uncertain.

What is clear is the county’s main concern about Sally will be the rain.

“As of right now we’re expecting 7-10 inches of rain locally – and you can throw in the caveat that higher amounts are possible in some places,” EMA Assistant Director Grant Lyons said Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s going to rain a lot. We fully expect the rain to be pretty strong and steady tomorrow (Wednesday), overnight into Thursday. Sometime on Thursday evening it’ll maybe start to ease up a little bit.”

This area only has 10 percent chance to experience strong tropical storm-strength (58 mph) winds. We will experience tropical storm gusts. The storms could produce a threat for isolated tornadoes through Thursday.

Other saturation problems – trees down, power outages, impassable roads, etc. – are always a possibility.

Even after the rain is gone Sally will be felt here.

“That much rain, locally, plus it flows down from Birmingham and Montgomery,” Lyons said. “That could compound our problem after it blows through.”

Brown said Elba is projected to enter a moderate flooding stage at 7 a.m. on Friday and could go up about halfway toward major flooding, which is 37.2 feet.

Follow Ken Rogers on Twitter @debamabeat.

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