This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.
Hurricane Sally was a slow-moving Atlantic Category 2 storm that lasted from Sep. 11 to Sep. 18, 2020. Within the storm's lifecycle, it caused 9 fatalities and $7.3 billion (2020 USD) in damage. Overall, Sally affected The Bahamas, Cuba, and areas of the United States.
In order to prepare for Sally, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama all declared states of emergencies.
"People after being rescued by a Coast Guard response team near Navarre, Florida." Courtesy of Wikipedia
In Florida, the Panhandle area received the brunt of the storm. Floodwaters in the area reached as high as 1.7 m, which is the third-highest surge in the city's history. On Sep. 15, 22 barges in the Pensacola Bay broke away.
In Pensacola Beach, a water main broke — residents were advised to fill their bathtubs with water. In Okaloosa County, the Shoal River reached the highest levels in 20 years.
In Alabama, Sally caused a storm surge and flooding. Areas in Alabama received wind gusts as high as 195 km/h. The area received extensive damage including snapped street lights, sewage overflows, and widespread home destruction.
"Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine agents survey damage caused by Hurricane Sally near Mobile, Ala., Sept. 16, 2020." Courtesy of Wikipedia
Around 2,000 broken poles left more than 71,000 households and businesses in the dark.
Because of the extensive damage in Mobile, Alabama, the city set a curfew for residents. Alabama's agricultural industry was already facing stresses related to COVID-19 and had to deal with added storm complications, like flooded fields.
To learn more about Hurricane Sally, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."