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StatusCrisis Alert DateSeptember 14, 2020 Region Gulf Coast

Hurricane Sally

Hurricane Sally made landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 2 storm bringing torrential rains in its slow march ashore. The slow movement of the storm means record rainfall and storm surge is causing catastrophic flooding.  Although the storm has now weakened to a tropical depression, it has left chaos in its wake, dumping 4 months worth of rain in about 4 hours.

Sally has produced up to 30 inches of rain over portions of the central Gulf Coast from the western Florid Panhandle to far southeast Louisiana. Pensacola, Florida had already received 24 inches by the time Sally made landfall.  A dangerous storm surge has also inundated coastal communities with Pensacola and Mobile, Alabama bearing much of the brunt of the storm. Hundreds of people needed rescue as the slow movement of the storm and its historic rainfall caught many by surprise.

  • In advance of the storm, Americares reached out to dozens of safety net health center partners across Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Florida, letting these vital providers know that Americares is ready to provide emergency support—PPE, emergency supplies, medicine, operational support and technical assistance.
  • We anticipate that partners will begin to reach out with requests soon after the storm has passed. However, due to the heavy rains, secondary flooding is expected as rivers and tributaries and the full impact of the storm won’t be clear for several days.
  • A number of partner health centers in Georgia and Florida recently participated in Americares health facility disaster preparedness boot camp, which helps them think through operational and clinical considerations both within the COVID-19 context and a natural disaster context.

As the hurricane season reaches its peak months (September and October), the season has already surpassed all predictions in terms of the number of named storms and their speed of development. All of this is happening as Wildfires sweep through the Western states and the COVID Pandemic death toll nears 200,000 in the United States.