This story was originally published by The Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
Hurricane Sally left a trail of chaos and damage on the U.S. Gulf coast on Wednesday, with pounding rain and winds whipping above 100 mph as the huge Category 2 storm system ground ashore at just 2 mph — a turtle’s walking pace.
It later accelerated to 3 mph and then 5 mph as it battered the metropolitan areas of Pensacola, Florida, and Mobile, Alabama, encompassing nearly a million people.
It cast boats on to land or sank them at the dock, flattened palm trees, peeled away roofs, blew down signs, and knocked out power to more than a half-million homes and businesses. A replica of Christopher Columbus’ ship the Niña that had been docked at the Pensacola waterfront was missing, police said.
Sally tore loose a barge-mounted construction crane, which then smashed into the new Three Mile Bridge over Pensacola Bay, causing a section of the year-old span to collapse, authorities said. The storm also ripped away a large section of a fish... Read more