Hurricane Sally made landfall at the Florida/Alabama border as a Category 2 storm. It has since been downgraded to a Tropical Storm but it brought catastrophic flash flooding from the rain and a powerful storm surge. This was an incredibly slow-moving storm. At one point, Sally was inching along at like 2 MPH dumping torrential rain.
I’m in Southwest Florida and it rained nonstop from mid-day Friday through Monday morning as Sally passed by at a glacial pace, dumping nonstop rain on this coast as it strengthened towards the panhandle. We were under a flood warning here for days and it was still nothing compared to what the coastal areas of Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle got hit with.
The storm surge throws everything in flux. Knocks out power. Over 500,000 Americans lost power due to Sally. Ruins properties and cars. And brings in some strange wildlife. Tina Lambert Bennett from Gulf Shores, Alabama shared this clip of an enormous 12-foot alligator at her neighbor’s house. She told CNN that snakes and alligators sought refuge from the storm.
Another reason to SHELTER IN PLACE until flood waters recede. Not only are there downed power lines, but there’s also displaced wildlife. This 10-12 ALLIGATOR was just outside of a house in Gulf Shores on Plash Island earlier this morning.
— Thomas Geboy (@ThomasGeboyWX) September 16, 2020
A 12-foot alligator was spotted in Gulf Shores, Alabama, after Hurricane Sally made landfall early Wednesday. "This is why we don't want to go outside," said Tina Lambert Bennett, who filmed the alligator outside her window. https://t.co/MuzaKk1Icz pic.twitter.com/k3ZkzlEm97
— CNN (@CNN) September 17, 2020
She told CNN:
“I went upstairs to survey the damage to our property as well as the neighbors boat dock I happened to look down and see this giant in our yard,”
“We are aware that we have them out in our area as well as lots of poisonous snakes so we know not to walk out there in floodwaters. I was just amazed at the size of this one,” she said.
“Last night it hit us from the land side so strong winds tore part of our roof off and caused power outages and other damages. It also caused the surrounding canals to overflow and fill the marshlands. Today the tide came in off the bay side with the surge and the water rose so quickly from that side. That’s when our property became submerged and snakes and alligators began looking for a place to hunker down,” she said.
Apropos of nothing, I’ve noticed two gators have moved into my neighborhood in the past month. There’s a tiny one around 4ish feet and a little larger one that’s around 6-feet. Neither really seem to pose a threat yet but the 6-footer is currently chilling in the lake out front of an elementary school, a lake I also walk my dog past every single day. So if I happen to end up in a ‘Florida Man fights off alligator, saves dog and kids’ headline in the next few weeks at least you know where I’m coming from with that.
Alligators and snakes aren’t the only creatures showing up in weird places due to Sally. I’ve seen several reports of eels making the rounds.
— Brittany Decker (@BrittanyWVTM13) September 16, 2020
Nope. Don’t like that.