Torrential rain from Sally — up to 24 inches — will likely unleash a significant flooding event over a portion of the southern United States during the middle to latter part of this week, according to information released by multiple weather agencies on Monday.
Gordon County Emergency Management Agency Director Courtney Taylor said that while locals don’t have to storm about storm damage, flooding could be an issue.
“Three to four inches of rain with isolated totals up to five inches will be possible in Gordon County and across the northwestern third of Georgia during the second half of the week, as what remains of Sally moves further inland and curves eastward toward Georgia,” Taylor said. “Please stay alert to the rainfall forecast over the coming days, as changes are likely.”
The inland flooding threat will follow storm surge inundation and damaging winds as Sally was on path to make landfall, likely as a Category 2 hurricane, Tuesday night into early Wednesday along the central Gulf coast.
“Sally will be a 2 on the AccuWeather RealImpact™ Scale for Hurricanes, not only from storm surge flooding along the central Gulf coast, but also the risk from excessive rainfall across the interior Southeast states,” explained AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Adam Douty.
The AccuWeather RealImpact™ Scale for Hurricanes is a 6-point scale with ratings of less than one and 1 to 5 that was introduced by AccuWeather in 2019 to rate tropical systems based on multiple impacts, rather than just wind, like the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale does.
A repeat of the magnitude of Harvey’s flooding in 2017 is not anticipated, but Sally will not move quickly and could even pause along the central Gulf coast for a time. Sally is expected to unload excessive rainfall on portions of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas as it takes a slow, curved northeastward path through the region.
Harvey deposited up to 61 inches of rain in southeastern Texas over a several-day period during late August to early September and claimed the lives of more than 100 people.
“A large swath of four- to eight-inch rainfall is forecast from the central Gulf coast to the southern Appalachians,” Douty said.