(CNN) — Sally downgraded to a tropical storm on Wednesday. As a Category 1 hurricane it struck southern Alabama and northwest Florida after it made landfall Wednesday morning, as a Category 2 hurricane, prompting water rescues, there were power outages, winds brought down the trees and there was a threat of catastrophic flooding as it proceeds at an agonizing pace.
High-water rescues were carried out Wednesday morning when homes flooded and trees fell on roofs in Gulf Shores, Alabama, city spokesman Grant Brown said.
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Hurricane Sally made landfall this morning
Sally made landfall as a Category 2 storm near Gulf Shores around 4:45 am CT with sustained winds of 168 kilometers per hour. At 8 a.m. CT, it degraded, 20 miles from Gulf Shores, with 144-mile-per-hour winds. Later it became a tropical storm.
With the slow pace of Hurricane Sally, typically moving at 3 miles per hour, some areas have already accumulated more than 38 centimeters of rain and could receive as much as 88 centimeters by the end of the storm.
Flooding has turned streets into rivers in Pensacola, Florida, Associated Press images show. The dangerous debris fragments “have become too numerous to list,” police warned.
“Nothing is going away anytime soon,” National Hurricane Center director Ken Graham told CNN. “Winds, torrential rains, slow motion and storm surge – this is a dangerous situation everywhere.”