HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Sally strengthened to a Category 2 Hurricane on Monday as it is moving over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico ahead of making landfall on the U.S. southeast coast.
According to forecast, Sally slowly moves northwest through the Gulf towards the north-central Gulf coast, continuing gaining power before landfall. Forecasters warned that Sally could become a Category 3 major hurricane when making landfall along the coast of Mississipi and Alabama.
Hurricane warnings have been issued for southeast Louisiana and all of the Mississippi and Alabama Gulf coast. A Tropical Storm Warning extends through much of the Florida Panhandle.
Once expected to be a direct hit on New Orleans, Louisiana, Sally moved east on Monday but could still cause wind damage and power outage in the city, expert said.
On Saturday, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency ahead of Sally. Evacuation orders were also issued in southeast areas of the state.
"This storm has the potential to be very serious," Edwards said. "This, when combined with the COVID-19 pandemic, can make us all weary. I implore Louisianans to take their preparations seriously."