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HFP

Sally strengthens to a hurricane, continues path toward Gulf Coast

Hurricane Sally, expected to make landfall on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. (National Hurricane Center/Released)

Tropical Storm Sally was upgraded to a hurricane just after noon Monday as the Gulf Coast braces for yet another storm.

The storm currently sits about 130 miles east-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River and about 165 miles southeast of Biloxi, Miss., with winds up to 90 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Sally is expected to continue strengthening before making landfall Tuesday.

The Category 1 hurricane will continue move over the north-central Gulf of Mexico today and toward southeastern Louisiana tonight, then make landfall in the area Tuesday or Tuesday night before moving slowly along the Gulf Coast into Wednesday.

Hurricane conditions are expected in southeastern Louisiana tonight and along the Mississippi and Alabama coastline Tuesday night.

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A hurricane warning is already in place from Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Alabama-Florida border and in Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas, including metropolitan New Orleans.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards have already declared states of emergencies and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell has announced a mandatory evacuation for areas outside the levee protection system.

Forecasters warned that Sally could dump 8 to 16 inches of rainfall and up to 24 inches over portions of the central Gulf Coast from the western Florida Panhandle to far southeast Louisiana through the middle of the week. Life-threatening flash flooding is likely.

Tornadoes are also possible in the coastal areas of the Florida Panhandle, Mississippi, Alabama and extreme southeastern Louisiana.

In a busy tropical season, Sally is now the seventh hurricane, joining Hanna, Isaias, Laura, Marco, Nana and Paulette.

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©2020 New York Daily News

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.