Sally downgraded to depression; catastrophic flooding threat continues for Florida Panhandle

ORLANDO, Fla. — Update: Hurricane Sally was downgraded to a tropical depression on Wednesday evening, but continues to dump rain on multiple states. See our full coverage below:

See our previous coverage below:

Hurricane Sally made landfall Wednesday morning near Gulf Shores, Alabama as a Category 2 hurricane. Sally was downgraded to a tropical storm, but the threat but catastrophic flooding continues as the system moves slowly.

New video of the flood damage shows the extent of damage from the storm.

Neighbors in downtown Pensacola have reported water coming into their homes.

Also in Pensacola, tropical storm wind gusts wiped out a portion of the Three Mile Bridge, pushing a barge with a crane on it toward I-10 over the Bay.

The storm has knocked out power for about half a million people across three states.

Tropical Storm Sally

Sally moves slowly to the north-northeast at 5mph, and a slightly faster motion to the northeast is expected starting later this afternoon. Maximum sustained wind will continue to decrease as Sally moves over land, and it will likely become a depression by Thursday morning before moving over Georgia. The storm could bring as much as 35 inches of rain to some areas. The storm pushed ocean water inland across Downtown Pensacola early Wednesday morning.

Florida will remain with tropical moisture lingering around through the end of the week as Sally continues to pull it from the south as it travels over Georgia and the Carolinas. See local weather forecast here.

Dry air started to infiltrate the system and the wind shear coming from the west has shifted it’s convection to the east. Expect higher rainfall to affect northern Florida, Alabama, and Georgia through the next couple of days.

Rainfall has already fallen across parts of Florida reaching between 15-20 inches, especially Escambia and Santa Rosa counties in northwest Florida. Another 10 inches could be possible for some areas along Sally’s track.

Read: La Niña is officially declared; tropical effects already being seen

Forecast Track

There are a few other systems in the Atlantic, here’s what you need to know about them:

Hurricane Teddy

Hurricane Teddy is expected to continue gaining strength, by Thursday, this will likely be a major category hurricane well north of the Caribbean.

It will stay out to sea, but the Bermudas should monitor Teddy’s forecast closely.

Wednesday late morning, the National Hurricane Center’s track showed Teddy coming very close to the Bermudas as a strong category 2 hurricane on Monday.

If this materializes this will be the second hurricane that strikes the Bermudas this month.

Forecast Track

Tropical Storm Vicky

Tropical Storm Vicky continues to move very slowly and it is losing its (weak) punch. By Thursday it will be a depression and it will continue to crawl over the Central Atlantic.

The storm is forecast to weaken due to strong upper-level winds.

Forecast Track

Hurricane Paulette

Hurricane Paulette is maintaining its strength as it accelerates northeastward while losing its tropical characteristic. We’ve clearly seen how the system’s wind field has greatly expanded as it moves over the northern Atlantic, and higher latitudes. Paulette will slow down and turn southeastward by Thursday.

Forecast Track

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Katlyn Brieskorn,

Katlyn Brieskorn is a Digital Assignment Editor at WFTV. She joined Channel 9 in July 2019.