Hurricane Sally swiftly escalated on Monday over the Gulf of Mexico as reported by the U.S. National Hurricane Center. It also stated that the hurricane is set to hit the central Gulf Coast by today as a major hurricane with Mississippi and Alabama coasts to experience winds at a devastating speed of 110 mph. Sally’s wind speed increased drastically to 100 miles per hour and is currently on the cusp of becoming a Category 3 hurricane as per the Saffir-Simpson scale of intensity.
US President Donald Trump issued an emergency disaster declaration and provisions were made to evacuate people from low lying areas of Mississippi and Louisiana while Alabama closed its beaches and recommended evacuation as well. Mississippi Governor, Tate Reeves told the residents on Monday regarding the rainfall forecast warning that stated that it could exceed 20 inches and claimed that the state is going to “bear the brunt of this storm”. The U.S. Coast Guard has restricted travel on the lower parts of the Mississippi River and also closed subsequent ports.
Energy companies and ports along the U.S. Gulf Coast shut down its operations in preparation for Hurricane Sally. This is the second significant hurricane to affect oil and gas activity over the last month alone. Andrew Lipow of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston stated that “I don’t expect to see damage from wind, but we could see a significant amount of onshore flooding that impacts infrastructure that subsequently impacts Gulf of Mexico production”.
Hurricanes are considered to have the potential to cause damage if they pick up speeds past 111 mph. As per the latest update by Reuters, Sally had picked up wind speeds of 105 mph and sustained winds of 100 mph, recorded at 4:00 PM CDT.