Hurricane Sally – Update #6 – 9/16/2020
University of Florida officials are continuing to monitor Hurricane Sally. Here is what we know today:
Hurricane Sally made landfall this morning near the Florida/Alabama line, bringing significant flooding and rainfall to the Panhandle. The eyewall continues to move very slowly north-northeast through Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.
Hurricane warnings are in effect for Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa counties. Hurricane force-winds remain possible in the western Panhandle through today.
Tropical storm warnings have been issued for Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Walton, and Washington counties. Sustained tropical storm-force winds are possible inland in the western and eastern Panhandle through later today. Storm surge warnings are in effect for Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton counties. Surge waters will be gradually receding this afternoon.
Coastal flood advisories have been issued for the eastern Panhandle and Big Bend. Flash flood watches are in effect for the Panhandle and western Big Bend until Thursday morning with several local flash flood warnings issued.
The National Hurricane Center warns that historic and catastrophic flooding, including widespread moderate to major river flooding, is unfolding. Major river flooding is expected over the next few days for numerous rivers. Several counties are reporting widespread road closures and washed out roadways.
A tornado watch remains in effect until 6 p.m. for the Florida’s Panhandle and western Big Bend. A few tornadoes may occur today across portions of the Panhandle. Additional watches could be issued later today.
The IFAS West Florida Research and Education Center (REC) with facilities in Milton and Jay (Santa Rosa County) remains closed.
Hurricane Sally will move across the Panhandle and southeastern Alabama through early Thursday, over central Georgia on Thursday and then over South Carolina Thursday night. Weakening is expected as the center moves farther inland. Sally is forecast to become a tropical depression by Thursday morning.
No tropical storm warnings or watches are currently in place for Alachua County, and no operational changes are anticipated for the UF campus in Gainesville. We will continue to monitor and update the UF community on expected impacts or schedule changes.
For additional information, please visit National Hurricane Center.