Sep 17, 2020
rescue, recovery and a wary eye on rivers
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PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — Rivers swollen by Hurricane Sally’s rains threatened more misery for some residents of the Florida Panhandle and south Alabama on Thursday, even as the storm’s remnants were forecast to dump as much as a foot of rain and spread the threat of flooding to Georgia and the Carolinas.
Coastal residents, meanwhile, looked to begin the recovery from a storm that turned streets into rivers, ripped roofs off buildings, knocked out power to hundreds of thousands and killed at least one person.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis warned residents and visitors in flooded areas that they would need to remain vigilant as water from the hurricane subsides, because heavy rains to the north were expected to cause flooding in Panhandle rivers in the coming days.
“So this is kind of the initial salvo, but there is going to be more that you’re going to have to contend with,” DeSantis said at a Wednesday news conference in Tallahassee.
At least one death was blamed on the hurricane. Orange Beach, Alabama, Mayor Tony Kennon told The Associated Press one person in the popular vacation spot died and another was missing as a result of the storm. He said he could not immediately release details.
Sally blew ashore near Gulf Shores, Alabama, Wednesday morning as a major hurricane with 105 mph (165 kph) winds. It moved slowly, exacerbating the effect of heavy rains. More than 2 feet (61 centimeters) fell near Naval Air Station Pensacola, and nearly 3 feet (1 meter) of water covered streets in downtown Pensacola, the National Weather Service reported.
Some Pensacola streets looked like rivers with whitecaps at times. The waters swamped parked cars before receding.
Sally weakened to a tropical depression late Wednesday and picked up speed. The National Hurricane Center said the system was moving through southeast Alabama, would cross over central Georgia on Thursday and reach South Carolina on Thursday night. Flash flooding and some river flooding was possible in each state.
The forecasts called for 4 inches (10 centimeters) to 8 inches (29 centimeters) of rain in southeast Alabama and central Georgia by Thursday night, with up to 1 foot (30 centimeters) in some spots, posing a threat of significant flash flooding and “minor to moderate” river floods.
In South Carolina, as much as 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain was possible; in North Carolina, up to 8 inches. Some flash flooding and river flooding was a possibility in those states, the weather service said.
Kennon said the damage in Orange Beach was worse than that from Hurricane Ivan, which hit 16 years to the day earlier. In a Facebook briefing for city residents, Kennon said distribution points would be established Thursday for water, ice and tarps.
“It was an unbelievably freaky right turn of a storm that none of us ever expected,” Kennon said of Sally, which once appeared to have New Orleans in its sights.
Well over a half-million homes and businesses were without electricity in Alabama and Florida, according to the poweroutages.us website. Many faced extended time without power. “We don’t want to sugar coat this; we’re in it for the long haul,” one utility posted on social media.
At least eight waterways in south Alabama and the Florida Panhandle were expected to hit major flood stage by Thursday. Some of the crests could break records, submerge bridges and flood some homes, the National Weather Service warned. Included in the warnings were the Styx and Fish rivers, Murder Creek and Big Escambia Creek. In Florida, major crests were expected on the Perdido, Blackwater, Shoal and Yellow rivers, forecasters said.
Brewton, Alabama, a city of about 5,200, can expect moderate to major flooding, said meteorologist Steve Miller of the National Weather Service office in Mobile. Silverhill, an Alabama town of about 1,200, was threatened by the Fish River, which had crested, and Seminole, an Alabama village on the Florida state line, by the still rising Styx River, Miller said.
As a hurricane, 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.
The hurricane center was tracking two other Atlantic storms: Hurricane Teddy, with a forecast track that could put it over Bermuda by Monday; and Tropical Storm Vicky, expected to dissipate in the Atlantic in the coming days.
Wang reported from Mobile, Alabama, and Martin, from Marietta, Georgia. Associated Press contributors include Russ Bynum in Savannah, Georgia; Sudhin Thanawala and Haleluya Hadero in Atlanta; Bobby Caina Calvan and Brendan Farrington in Tallahassee, Florida; David Fischer in Miami; Rebecca Santana and Janet McConnaughey in New Orleans; and Julie Walker in New York.
News Source: newsbrig.com
No. 2 Crimson Tide rolls on offense to 38-19 win over Mizzou
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Mac Jones threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns in less than three quarters of work, many of his throws landing in the capable hands of Jaylen Waddle, and No. 2 Alabama began its Southeastern Conference-only schedule with a 38-19 romp over rebuilding Missouri on Saturday night.
Waddle finished with eight catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns, and Najee Harris ran for 98 yards and three more scores, helping the Crimson Tide spoil the debut of new Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz and win their 27th straight over the SEC East before a COVID-19-curtailed crowd of 11,738 fans at Faurot Field.
TCU transfer Shawn Robinson, who started for the Tigers over Connor Bazelak, threw for 185 yards and a score. Bazelak also got a few series and was equally ineffective against Dylan Moses, Patrick Surtain II and the rest of the Crimson Tide defense, which kept Drinkwitz’s creative offense out of the end zone until midway through the fourth quarter.
Bazelak added a touchdown scamper on the final play of the game for the final margin.
Alabama’s long wait to start the season actually began with a thud — a three-and-out on offense. But after forcing a three-and-out of their own, Jones began to find his wide receivers downfield and the Crimson Tide got rolling.
At one point, the only question was who was going to score their touchdowns.
Harris had the first on a short plunge, and Waddle hauled in 18-yarder for the second a few minutes later. Waddle looked like had another on the Tide’s ensuing possession, but a review ruled that he hit the pylon before crossing the goal line and Harris wound up poaching the touchdown for his second of the game.
Waddle eventually got his second, too, when he hauled in a spectacular 23-yard grab in double coverage that sent Alabama into the locker room with a 28-3 lead. In fact, the only slip-up to that point for the Tide came at the end of that play, when Waddle’s cleats slipped on the asphalt through the end zone and he landed on his rear.
Harris added his third touchdown on a twisting 8-yard run early in the second half, allowing Alabama coach Nick Saban to see what freshman quarterback Bryce Young and the rest of their backups could do.
Missouri defensive backs coach Charlie Harbison was absent because of COVID-19 and defensive quality control analyst Grant O’Brien filled the role. O’Brien also will handle those duties next weekend at Tennessee.
Alabama won its fifth straight against Missouri and improved to 15-0 under Saban in season openers. Just about all their stars got into the act, too. DeVonta Smith added eight catches for 89 yards, Moses spent most of the night in the Tigers’ backfield and Surtain jumped on a fumble to keep things rolling at the start of the second half.
Missouri was overmatched but showed plenty of fight, and Drinkwitz can certainly build on that fact. It hardly helped his cause that the former Appalachian State coach had such a pandemic-altered offseason to install his system, and the kinks were particularly evident when Alabama was pulling away in the first half.
The Crimson Tide play their home opener next Saturday against Texas A&M. Missouri heads to Tennessee.
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