Sally brings 'catastrophic flooding' to Alabama-Florida Panhandle

Hurricane Sally, a storm that was once feared to threaten New Orleans, moved even farther to the east before hitting Gulf Shores, Ala., and Pensacola, Fla., as a Category 2 hurricane early this morning.

In addition to winds of 98 mph with much higher gusts and dangerous storm surges, the slow-moving monster dumped 30 inches of rain upon landfall, resulting in "catastrophic and life-threatening flooding" in that area, the National Hurricane Center said. Approximately 650,000 residents in three states have lost electricity.

As of 10 a.m. Sally was a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 81 mph. It is expected to deliver heavy rains for several days as it slowly marches to the sea through Georgia and South Carolina.

Because Sally is moving at only 3 mph, flooding along her path is projected to increase to what forecasters have called "historic levels."

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