As of 10 p.m. Saturday, Tropical Storm Sally had entered the Gulf of Mexico and was expected to become a hurricane within the next 48 hours before possibly making landfall near the Mississippi-Louisiana state line some time Tuesday evening.
A Hurricane Watch is still in effect from Grand Isle, La., all across the Mississippi Gulf Coast to the Mississippi-Alabama state line.
"Sally is moving toward the west-northwest near 8 mph, and a west-northwestward or northwestward motion is expected through Monday," according to the NHC update. "A decrease in forward speed and a turn toward the north-northwest is forecast on Tuesday. On the forecast track, the center of Sally will move over the southeastern and eastern Gulf of Mexico tonight and Sunday, move over the north-central Gulf of Mexico
Sunday night and Monday, and approach the north-central Gulf Coast within the hurricane watch area late Monday and Tuesday."
As of Saturday evening, Sally's maximum sustained winds were near 40 mph, with higher gusts, but the storm was expected to strengthen and become a hurricane on Monday, with additional strengthening possible on Tuesday.
Tropical Storm force winds extended from the eye of the storm up to about 80 miles, mainly to the southeast of the center, according to the NHC, and a wind gust of 93 mph was reported in Key West, Fla.
"The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline," according to the NHC and there could be storm surge between 6-9 feet anywhere from the Mississippi River to Ocean Springs.
"The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the right of the landfall location, where the surge will be accompanied by large and damaging waves," the report said.
Sally was expected to produce rainfall amounts of five to 10 inches across the Florida Panhandle and six to 12 inches with isolated amounts of 18 inches over the Central Gulf Coast from Sunday into the middle of the week.
The Hancock County Emergency Management Agency will have self-serve sand and sand bags at the following locations beginning Sunday, Sept. 13 at 7 a.m. Please bring your own shovel. If you need assistance with getting the sand-bags, please contact the Hancock County Emergency Management Agency at 228-255-0942 or Hancock County Central Dispatch at 228-255-9191.
• Hancock County Horse Arena, 4184 Kiln Delisle Road
• Old Hancock County Complex, 3068 Longfellow Drive
• Lakeshore Community Center, 6440 Lower Bay Road
• Bayside Fire Department, 6215 West Hinds Street
• West Hancock Fire Department, 16006 Washington Street
• Diamondhead City Hall, 5000 Diamondhead Circle
For further information, contact the Hancock County Emergency Management Agency at 228-255-0942.