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Hurricane Sally has been downgraded to a Category 1 storm after making landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama, early Wednesday, but the National Hurricane Center is still warning of "life-threatening" and "catastrophic" flooding.


Gulf Coast Braces for Sally ]

Sally is expected to produce 8 to 12 inches more inches of rain through Wednesday afternoon, but higher levels are possible along and inland of the central Gulf Coast from west of Tallahassee, Florida.

Total rainfall is expected to reach 10 to 20 inches with isolated amounts of 35 inches, according to the center.

Pensacola, Florida, reported a storm surge of about five and a half feet. A section of the city's new Three-Mile Bridge has reportedly been knocked out. Videos circulating on social media have shown inundated roads, submerged cars and downed trees.

"On the forecast track, the center of Sally will move across the extreme western Florida panhandle and southeastern Alabama through early Thursday, move over central Georgia on Thursday, and move over South Carolina Thursday night," the National Hurricane Center predicts.

Sally, which is moving at a slow 5 miles per hour, should be downgraded to a tropical depression by Thursday morning, according to the center.

The hurricane made landfall as a Category 2 storm with winds of up to 105 mph. Maximum sustained winds on Wednesday morning decreased to 80 miles per hour.


Sally Becomes a Hurricane ]

There are over 270,000 customers without power in Alabama and more than 230,000 in Florida, according to a power outage tracker. The winds will have to die down before crews can venture out to make repairs, Florida. Gov. Ron DeSantis said, before predicting that more outages are likely.

"Hopefully you'll start to see some of the power crews in there as soon as the storm quiets down, hopefully as soon as tomorrow morning," DeSantis told The Weather Channel on Wednesday.

But Sally isn't the only Atlantic storm to keep an eye on.

Hurricane Teddy, which could reach Bermuda by Monday, rapidly intensified early Wednesday morning and could become a Category 4 storm.


Climate Change Still Seen as Top Threat ]

"Additional strengthening is expected over the next couple of days, and Teddy could become a major hurricane by late tonight," the center said on Wednesday.

Paulette, a former hurricane which had passed over Bermuda, is now a post-tropical cyclone, while Tropical Storm Vicky is not an immediate threat to land. Three other disturbances are being monitored by the center.

Cecelia Smith-Schoenwalder, Staff Writer

Cecelia Smith-Schoenwalder writes about space, science and the environment for U.S. News & ...  Read more

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Original 9, Hewitt, Raymond among nominees for tennis Hall

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — Billie Jean King and the other members of the Original 9 who laid the groundwork for the women’s professional tennis tour are the first group nominated together for the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

They join Jonas Bjorkman, Sergi Brugera, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Lleyton Hewitt, Lisa Raymond and the late Dennis Van der Meer on the ballot announced Monday for the Hall’s Class of 2021.

Wednesday is the 50th anniversary of when King, elected to the Hall in 1987 for her accomplishments on the court, and eight other players — Peaches Bartkowicz, Rosie Casals, Judy Dalton, Julie Heldman, Kerry Melville Reid, Kristy Pigeon, Nancy Richey and Valerie Ziegenfuss — signed $1 contracts to participate in the first women-only tennis tournament, taking a stand against the disparity in prize money between men and women at the time.

That group and Van der Meer, who advocated for a universal teaching method in tennis, were nominated in the Contributor Category. Van der Meer died last year.

The nominees in the Player Category are Raymond, an American who won 11 Grand Slam titles in doubles or mixed doubles; Hewitt, an Australian who won the U.S. Open in 2001 and Wimbledon in 2002 and was ranked No. 1; Ferrero, a Spaniard who won the 2003 French Open and reached No. 1; Bruguera, a Spaniard who won the French Open in 1993 and 1994; and Bjorkman, a Swede who won nine Grand Slam doubles titles and was ranked No. 1 in doubles.

The full ballot now goes to the official voting group — which includes tennis journalists, historians and Hall of Fame members — and fans can vote online in the Player Category from Oct. 1-25.

Inductees will be announced early next year; the induction ceremony is scheduled for July 17.


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