Hurricane warnings in effect for parts of Gulf Coast as Tropical Storm Sally gathers strength

By 7 a.m. EDT Monday, the storm was centered 115 miles east-southeast of the mouth of Mississippi River. It was moving west-northwestward at 8 mph and maximum sustained winds had remained at 65 mph. Sally, formerly Tropical Depression 19, ramped up quickly and strengthened to a tropical storm at 2 p.m. EDT on Saturday afternoon.

Forecasters expect Sally to continue rapidly strengthening into Monday and anticipate Sally to become a Category 1 hurricane.

As the system moved from the waters off Florida’s southeast across the southern tip of the Sunshine State and over the Gulf, local officials along the Gulf Coast began taking action to prepare for Sally’s arrival. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm’s arrival and noted on Twitter that parts of his state were ravaged by Hurricane Laura late last month.

“This when combined with the COVID-19 pandemic, can make us all weary,” Edwards said on Twitter. “I implore Louisianans to take their preparations seriously.”