Washington, Sep 14 (IANS) Tropical storm Sally is expected to hit Louisiana on Tuesday as a Category 2 hurricane, prompting authorities to issue a mandatory evacuation order in some parts of the US state.
On Sunday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecasted that Sally, which continues to strengthen across the Gulf of Mexico with sustained winds of 60 mph, could become a hurricane on Monday and reach shore by early Tuesday, bringing severe weather conditions to a region from Morgan City, Louisiana, to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, reports Xinhua news agency.
Storm surges of up to seven to 11 feet were likely near the centre of the storm and just east of where landfall is expected.
Besides, extreme rainfall is expected in some locations between southeast Louisiana and the western Florida.
Hurricane warnings have been issued from Morgan City, Louisiana, east to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, including New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said on Sunday that he had requested a federal declaration of emergency to allow for early support from the federal government.
“We have every reason to believe that this storm represents a very significant threat to the people of southeast Louisiana,” Edwards told reporters.
“This, when combined with the Covid-19 pandemic, can make us all weary,” he tweeted. “I implore Louisianans to take their preparations seriously.”
A state of emergency has been declared in Louisiana ahead of the storm.
In coastal Louisiana, Grand Isle and St. Charles Parish are under mandatory evacuation orders, and a recommended evacuation notice went out to the community of Port Fourchon.
In New Orleans, Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a mandatory evacuation order for areas outside of the city’s levee protection system.
The evacuation order will be in effect for the areas of Venetian Isles, Irish Bayou and Lake Catherine.
In Mississippi, Governor Tate Reeves also signed a preliminary state of emergency for the state.
He has requested President Donald Trump “to provide the necessary guidance” for pre-landfall activity.
According to the Governor, coastal areas such as Hancock, Harrison, Jackson and Pearl River counties are listed in high risk of significant rainfall.
These regions could face up to 15-20 inches of rain, creating high-rising water levels and the potential need of rescue teams.
Sally comes after Laura, a Category 4 hurricane that ravaged coastal Louisiana towns and left residents without power for weeks.