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Hurricane Sally: Local flooding, gusty winds expected

Hurricane Sally: Local flooding, gusty winds expected

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National Weather Service: Tropical-Storm-Force Wind Speed Probabilities

Some localized flooding is probable even though slow-moving Category 2 Hurricane Sally is not expected to make a direct hit near here.

The storm is massive, and will likely also result in gusty winds here as it makes its way to predicted landfall in Mississippi, says Jackson County Emergency Management Director Rodney Andreasen.

He also advised that, as of Tuesday morning, there was a three-in-10 chance of tornadoes in the area. The county was under a tornado watch until 6 p.m. Tuesday, and he said the threat of flash flooding would linger through Thursday morning.

At the time of this writing on Tuesday, the storm had shifted slightly eastward and had essentially stalled, meaning that more rainfall than earlier predicted could fall locally. The estimate for Jackson County and surrounding areas was generally at 8-10 inches or more in some areas.

Initially, there were no concerns that the Chipola River would flood because is it very low at this point, but by Tuesday officials were a little less certain of that and cautioned the public to keep an eye on it and the Apalachicola. Individuals should move cars and other belongings out of flood-prone areas along those two rivers, Andreasen cautioned.

Additionally, people who live along dirt roads that are prone to flooding should stay aware of that possibility.

The inundation of water from areas north is expected to have its impact Wednesday or Thursday as the storm continues to move up through the southern U.S.

But more immediately, those strong wind expected Tuesday, combined with the local rain occurring in the storm’s move landward, present a dilemma that brings up the ghost of Hurricane Michael.

That late 2018 storm weakened many of the trees that didn’t fall in the Category 5 hurricane that devastated Jackson County.

Those winds, along with steady prolonged rain, could send of them toppling to the ground. Or, while the trunks might not get uprooted, already compromised limbs could break and fall, potentially damaging objects below. Local residents are advised, therefore, to also move belongings away from trees that could have been weakened enough to finally succumb.

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