Hurricane Sally spurs state of emergency in two counties

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NASA satellite spots Hurricane Sally from space as it churned in the Gulf of Mexico toward the U.S. coast. (CNN Newsource)

Gov. Ron DeSantis late Monday declared a state of emergency in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties because of Hurricane Sally, which could bring heavy rains to the western Panhandle.

Sally isn’t expected to make landfall in Florida, but the system’s track in the Gulf of Mexico has moved a little to the east, bringing more tropical-storm force winds into the state.

“We do see a potential for the storm to really slow down and stall out, and that could dump up to 25 inches of rain into those Northwest Florida counties,” DeSantis said.

One of five named systems currently being tracked, Sally is the only system posing a threat to Florida. The National Weather Service had the center of Sally about 105 miles east of the mouth of the Mississippi River, moving about 6 mph to the west-northwest with 100 mph maximum sustained winds.

A storm-surge warning was extended Monday afternoon east to the border of Okaloosa and Walton counties, with a hurricane warning extended east to Navarre in Santa Rosa County.