Hurricane Sally could bring “historic” flooding to Gulf Coast
Hurricane Sally is moving toward the Gulf Coast, threatening to bring possible historic flooding and “extreme life-threatening” flash flooding, according to forecasters. The eye of the storm is expected to pass near the coast of southeastern Louisiana on Tuesday, September 15, before making landfall Tuesday night or Wednesday morning in the hurricane warning area, which stretches from east of Bay St. Louis, Miss., to Navarre, Fla. As of Tuesday morning, the storm was located about 55 miles east of the mouth of the Mississippi River and about 110 miles south of Mobile, Ala. Maximum sustained winds were 85 mph, with stronger gusts. It was moving northwest at 2 mph.
Gulf Coast states are already coping with a COVID-19 outbreak, reducing the capacity for shelters and evacuation efforts. Residents in the warning areas should take all necessary actions to prepare to ride out the severe weather and protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions.
As we enter the peak of hurricane season, the International Code Council continues to maintain a watchful eye on the current and forecasted hurricanes and tropical storms. As more information about the hurricane unfolds, we are here to help provide the support and resources you need to recover as quickly as possible. Our Hurricane Resources and Information webpage offers many resources that help people prepare for, and deal with, devastating tropical storms and hurricanes. The Code Council’s Hurricane Preparedness Guide also offers general safety tips and precautions that you can take to ensure that your family, home and community are prepared for when a natural disaster strikes.
Once the wind, rain and flooding have passed, communities are left devastated and the workforce needed to rapidly assess the safety of structures are often in short supply. The U.S. has skilled code officials, engineers, inspectors and others across the country willing to step in to help local, state and federal entities with post-disaster safety assessments, building damage assessments, inspections and other code-related functions. The Disaster Response Alliance — a national volunteer system created by the Code Council and the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations — is also available to bring together these skilled, trained and certified building safety professionals for easy access and quick mobilization in the aftermath of a disaster. The increasing frequency and severity of storms, including Hurricanes Hanna, Isaias, Laura and the upcoming Sally, and the recent destructive wildfires in California, Oregon, Colorado, Utah and Arizona illustrate the need for this vital digital database.
Visit the website to request assistance with post-disaster assessments if needed. Please consider registering today to assist a jurisdiction in need when a crisis strikes. For any questions, please contact Code Council Vice President of Fire and Disaster Mitigation Activities Karl Fippinger, at 888-422-7233, ext. 6258.
Restoring safe and healthy homes and buildings as the foundation of community recovery is one of the most important jobs of the code official. You play an integral role in preparing communities for natural disasters and in helping your communities get back on their feet after a devastating event. For those in the path of Sally, the Code Council and your fellow members from around the country stand ready to support you and your communities when needed.