Families brace for dangerous floods from Hurricane Sally

Alabama’s governor is urging families along the coast to evacuate if they still can as forecasts predict Hurricane Sally could bring up to 30 inches of rain in some areas.
5:12 | 09/15/20

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Transcript for Families brace for dangerous floods from Hurricane Sally
Good evening and it's great to have you with us here on a very busy Tuesday night. The hurricane, the wildfires and the ABC news town hall with president trump amid this pandemic. We will get to it all here, and we begin with hurricane Sally set to make landfall within hours. States of emergency warnings up from Louisiana clear across to Florida. This is a slow-moving storm, which could make matters worse, expected to dump up to 30 inches of rain, with a possible life-threatening storm surge. The outer bands reaching the coast tonight. Wind and rain hitting gulf shores, Alabama. The images coming in from Florida, as well. Rough surf in destin, Florida. A barge breaking loose, becoming wedged under the Pensacola bay bridge. And look at the few have space. Bursts of lightning there as this storm closes in on the coast. Hurricane Sally in the coming hours is set to wk the third hurricane to make landfall along the gulf coast this season alone. So, let's get right to chief meteorologist ginger zee with the new track and timing in tonight. Ginger, what are you expecting? Reporter: I'm expecting Sally by tomorrow morning making landfall, but we have been feeling the impacts all day. I am at the head of the dog river. This is the mobile bay, which is usually very serene. That is obviously not the case with those white caps kicking up here. And David, it's as if Sally has been trying to make its way through peanut butter instead of air, it's moving so slow today. I'm going to explain it to you. You see it on satellite. 60 miles to my south and should make landfall again tomorrow morning. So, as it churns towards us overnight, we anticipate the really heavy bands of rain, winds of 70 to 80 miles per hour. Already seeing gusts above 70. And the timing shows you along the path, it will make its way then into the far north corner of Florida panhandle and eventually outdly South Carolina by the end of the week. But we've got a tornado watch. All the way here to mobile. So, watch for some slip in some of those outer bands. We also have to know the timing, because this is what's so critical. Tonight, we feel that eye shield. The shield ahead of the eye itself. Watch that stationary front try to trap that storm. 73-mile-per-hour, mobile. Right as it makes landfall somewhere near gulf shores or Orange. As it moves to the north, and I we all really feel the impacts along the bay here and then it should break up and allow it to move east, kicking it out with this trough. Number one, it is all about the rain. 10 to 30 inches of rain right here through destin to the east of me and also the surge with the water pushing up, that combination could be life threatening with flash flooding, David. We'll be watching straight through the overnight hours into materially morning. Ginger, thank you. And as you heard ginger report there, authorities are warning of potentially deadly flooding. The storm crawling its way toward land and moving very slowly once it gets here which, of course, is never good. Senior meteorologist rob Marciano tonight from Pensacola, Florida. Reporter: Tonight, families from the Florida panhandle to Louisiana bracing for life-threatening flooding from hurricane Sally. There's a category 1 hurricane just 100 miles offshore and it's not really moving at all. Reporter: Watches and warnings in effect for 350 miles of coastline. Talk about surge. This isn't the gulf, this is the bay. These persistent winds just pushing this water up against these sea walls. Those waves also slamming this barge right into the Pensacola bay bridge. Shutting it down. In mobile county, Alabama, two riverboat casinos in a canal breaking free, crushing a dock. The storm surge began inundating dauphin island during high tide on Monday. Several drivers who didn't get out in time found their cars buried in sand. With up to 30 inches of rain forecast in spots, Alabama's governor urging families along the coast to get out if they still can. My fellow alabamians, hurricane Sally is not to be taken for granted. Reporter: The storm now moving away from New Orleans, but not the storm surge. These waves raging on lake pontchartrain. So, let's get right to rob Marciano, live from Pensacola. And we know the conditions really have been steadily getting worse as the afternoon has been wearing on with you. Reporter: Oh, absolutely. As a matter of fact, David, the last hour, it's really going downhill it was manageable before, but now we're getting wind gusts that are approaching hurricane force. Look at the action off the bay here. We got waves five, six feet and this is low tide. Want to show you some of the numbers as far as wind gusts we're seeing right now. Over 50 miles per hour here in Pensacola. Over 50 miles per hour in mobile. Already a wind gust measures over 71 miles per hour. And the strongest core of those winds has yet to come onshore. That will be six to ten hours from now, when water here will be at high tide, so, it will be even more dangerous, detruck stif and life-threatening. David? And as we look at you rob here live tonight, that's the eastern side of the storm, the dirty side of the storm. You are already feeling the effects. Rob, appreciate this. Stay safe with the crew there and we'll continue to follow it into the night. In the meantime, the other

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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