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PENSACOLA, Florida -- Hurricane Sally lumbered ashore near the Florida-Alabama line Wednesday with 105 mph (165 kph) winds and rain measured in feet, not inches, killing at least one person, swamping homes and forcing the rescue of hundreds as it pushed inland for what could be a slow and disastrous drenching across the Deep South.



The death happened in Orange Beach, Alabama, according to Mayor Tony Kennon, who also told The Associated Press that one person was missing. Kennon said he couldn't immediately release details.

Moving at just 3 mph (5 kph), or about as fast as a person can walk, the storm made landfall at 4:45 a.m. close to Gulf Shores, Alabama, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from Pensacola, Florida. It accelerated to a light jog as it battered the Pensacola and Mobile, Alabama, metropolitan areas encompassing nearly 1 million people.

Sally cast boats onto land or sank them at the dock, flattened palm trees, peeled away roofs, blew down signs and knocked out power to more than 540,000 homes and businesses. A replica of Christopher Columbus' ship the Nina that had been docked at the Pensacola waterfront was missing, police said.

Sally tore loose a barge-mounted construction crane, which then smashed into the new Three Mile Bridge over Pensacola Bay, causing a section of the year-old span to collapse, authorities said. The storm also ripped away a large section of a fishing pier at Alabama's Gulf State Park on the very day a ribbon-cutting had been scheduled following a $2.4 million renovation.

RELATED | Slow-moving Tropical Storm Sally brings 'catastrophic' flooding to Florida Panhandle

By the afternoon, authorities in Escambia County, which includes Pensacola, said at least 377 people had been rescued from flooded areas. More than 40 people trapped by high water were brought to safety within a single hour, including a family of four found in a tree, Sheriff David Morgan said.

Authorities in Pensacola said 200 National Guard members would arrive Thursday to help. Curfews were announced in Escambia County and in some coastal Alabama towns.

Sally turned some Pensacola streets into white-capped rivers early Wednesday. Sodden debris and flooded cars were left behind as the water receded.

By early afternoon, Sally had weakened into a tropical storm. Its maximum sustained winds fell by Wednesday night to 45 mph (75 kph) and the National Weather Service said heavy rains were spreading to the north and east, into eastern Alabama and western Georgia.

At least eight waterways in south Alabama and the Florida Panhandle were expected to hit their major flood levels by Thursday. Some of the crests could break records, submerge bridges and flood some homes, the National Weather Service warned.

Morgan, the Escambia County sheriff, estimated thousands would need to flee rising waters in the coming days. Escambia officials urged residents to rely on text messages for contacting family and friends to keep cellphone service open for 911 calls.

"There are entire communities that we're going to have to evacuate," the sheriff said. "It's going to be a tremendous operation over the next several days."

Here's what happens if we run out of names. EMBED More News Videos

It turns out the list starts over, with the Greek Alphabet. We'll look at the first six names on that list:



West of Pensacola, in Perdido Key, Florida, Joe Mirable arrived at his real estate business to find the two-story building shattered. Digging through the ruins, Mirable pointed out a binder labeled "Hurricane Action Plan."

"I think the professionals got this one wrong," he said before the wind blew away his hat.

More than 2 feet (61 centimeters) of rain was recorded near Naval Air Station Pensacola, and nearly 3 feet (1 meter) of water covered streets in downtown Pensacola, the National Weather Service reported.

"It's not common that you start measuring rainfall in feet," said forecaster David Eversole.

Sally was the second hurricane to hit the Gulf Coast in less than three weeks and the latest to blow in during one of the busiest hurricane seasons ever. Forecasters have nearly run through the alphabet of storm names with 2 1/2 months still to go. At the start of the week, Sally was one of a record-tying five storms churning simultaneously in the Atlantic basin.

Like the wildfires raging on the West Coast, the onslaught of hurricanes has focused attention on climate change, which scientists say is causing slower, rainier, more powerful and more destructive storms.

An emergency crew rescued two people on Dauphin Island, Alabama, after the hurricane ripped the roof off their home and the rest of the house began to crumble. Mayor Jeff Collier said no one was injured.

In Orange Beach, Alabama, the wind blew out the walls in one corner of a condominium building, exposing at least five floors. At least 50 people were rescued from flooded homes and taken to shelters, Mayor Tony Kennon said.

"We got a few people that we just haven't been able to get to because the water is so high," Kennon said. "But they are safe in their homes. As soon as the water recedes, we will rescue them."

Sally's crawl made it hard to predict where it would strike. Just two days before landfall, the storm was forecast to hit New Orleans - 140 miles (225 kilometers) west of where it came ashore.

So Robert Lambrisky and his husband were caught somewhat off guard when the hurricane shook their door before daybreak and forced rainwater inside their home in Sanders Beach near Pensacola.

"We had some warning, but this was just such a strange storm," Lambrisky said. "So all of this preparing that you do, when you know the storm is coming, was something we only half did because we were convinced the storm wasn't going to hit us."

Sally's effects were felt all along the northern Gulf Coast, affecting low-lying properties in Mississippi and southeastern Louisiana.

Hurricane Laura pummeled southwestern Louisiana on Aug. 27. Thousands of people were still without power from that storm, and some were still in shelters.

Meanwhile, far out in the Atlantic, Teddy became a hurricane Wednesday with winds of 100 mph (160 kph). Forecasters said it could reach Category 4 strength before closing in on Bermuda, which took a direct hit from Hurricane Paulette only days ago.



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Hundreds Turn Out To DC To Honor Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

WASHINGTON (WJZ) — This week, the nation will continue to honor the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She will be honored at both the Supreme Court and the U.S. Capitol later this week.

All weekend long, hundreds turned out to pay their respects. Those tributes continued Monday.

Many called her an icon, and that’s evident with the outpouring of love. They have had to clear the side of hundreds of flowers that were placed over the weekend.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was only the second woman nominated to the high court. But her legacy goes well beyond that honor.

She was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993. By then, her fight for women’s equality was well established. She’d already won five of the six cases before the high court.

When she died Friday, a memorial started to grow.

“Literally yesterday I woke up and I felt compelled to be here,” said Yolanda Trotman.

Trotman, an attorney and former judge from Charlotte came to D.C. to honor Ginsburg.

“She was the moral compass of the court. Whether or not you believed or agreed with her politically, she was one that was willing to dissent,” Trotman said.

“…equal citizenship stature of men and women is a fundamental human right,” Ginsburg said.

Flowers sit outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on September 21, 2020, following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

With a still voice and small stature, Justice Ginsburg was often a force behind landmark cases. And her bold opinions gave her a nickname, the Notorious RBG.

An architect from Baltimore said she wouldn’t be here had it not been for the precedent Justice Ginsburg set.

“Even to be able to have my own credit card, I live alone, I own my own house. My parents are dead, I don’t have a husband. I didn’t have to find a man to sign for that,” said Kristine Finney.

Justice Ginsburg’s work for equality spanned decades and inspired generations.

“Thank you for paving the way for strong women everywhere. I will be strong because of women like you,” said Kennedy Frechtel.

On Monday, mothers brought their daughters to the Supreme Court, and so did fathers.

“She represented that strong women can do,” said Lisa West.

After 27 years the institution and the people honor a woman who believed in “equal justice… under the law.”

Justice Ginsburg will lie in repose at the Supreme Court later this week then in state at the U.S Capitol- an honor bestowed to few Americans.

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