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A street flooded by Tropical Storm Sally in Pensacola, Florida, on Wednesday. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

"Catastrophic" flooding from Tropical Depression Sally spilled inland across eastern Alabama and southwestern Georgia on Wednesday, bringing peak winds down to 45 mph winds, per the National Hurricane Center.

Why it matters: The mayor of Orange Beach, Ala., said one person died in the storm and hundreds of others have been rescued, per AP. Sally made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane near Gulf Shores, before later being downgraded to a tropical storm and later a depression. But the NHC warned late Wednesday it's "still causing torrential rains over eastern Alabama and western Georgia."

  • The storm's heavy rains were spreading northward over eastern Alabama and Western Georgia.
  • The Florida Panhandle could see surges of up to 6 feet.

What else is happening: Some 570,000 PowerOutage.US. customers in Alabama, Mississippi and Florida were without power Thursday morning.

  • The storm surge was rising in Alabama’s Mobile Bay.

The big picture: Sally formed as a tropical storm on Saturday off Florida's coast in the Gulf of Mexico.

  • With more than 17 million people in Sally's path, shelters opened from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle.
  • Sally was the 18th named storm — now of 20 — for 2020's Atlantic hurricane season. It is also the earliest named storm to form over the ocean.

What to watch: A few tornadoes could occur across portions of northern Florida and southern Georgia, per NHC.

  • The National Weather Service predicts rainfall of two to six inches between eastern Alabama and southeast Virginia, with areas seeing between 6 and 10 inches.
  • The Hurricane Center expects flooding in inland regions of eastern Alabama and central Georgia to persist into Thursday. Heavy rain and flooding are forecast to spread from the Carolinas into southeast Virginia.
  • NHC forecasters are also monitoring Hurricane Teddy, declared a hurricane early Wednesday, and Tropical Storm Vicky. By late Thursday, Teddy's winds are predicted to increase to 130 mph, making it a Category 4.
  • The next storm to be named will be Wilfred. After Wilfred, all names will have been used up, and forecasters will need to tap the Greek alphabet for referencing storms.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Updated Nov 10, 2020 - Science

Theta becomes 29th named storm in record hurricane season

A satellite image of Subtropical Storm Theta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/Twitter

Subtropical Storm Theta formed in the Northeast Atlantic Monday night, becoming the 29th named storm of the 2020 hurricane season, the National Hurricane Center confirmed.

Why it matters: The formation of Theta, which was some 995 miles southwest of the Azores overnight, breaks the record for the most named storms in a season — set in 2005. The World Meteorological Organization sets 21 alphabetical names for every season (excluding Q,U, X, Y and Z). This is the second time ever it's used all and had to turn to the Greek alphabet.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with further context on the hurricane season.

2 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

4 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.