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Live coverage of Sally: At least $29M in damage in Florida county; 320K still without power; bridge may be closed for month

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Dual disasters:How is climate change worsening wildfires and hurricanes?

There’s only one name left on the 2020 list of names:Next up: The Greek alphabet.

For right now, “We have all hands on deck,” DeSantis said. “We want to make sure to continue to keep people safe.”

“While it could be much worse, it’s been mighty bad,” added Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey.

Man stuck under bridge saved by kayaker in Perdido Key, Fla.

“No one thought it would be like this,” said Ash, who anchored at the Perdido Key RV Resort and Marina.

The man stuck on the pillar under the Theo Baars Bridge certainly wasn’t expecting it either. 

“I knew if I could get to my boat, I could get to him,” Ash said. “So I came out here, grabbed my kayak and about 500 feet of rope and went out.”

Ash paddled out to get the man the rope, then several onshore helped pull him in. The man had a dislocated shoulder and was understandably shaken up. “Could you imagine? He was out there all night in just shorts,” Ash said. 

“But man, I bet he’s got a story to tell,” Ash added. “I just wish I knew his name.”

– Kirsten Fiscus, Pensacola News Journal

New tropical depression forms in Gulf

– Kimberly Miller, Palm Beach Post

‘He’s a monster!’: Video shows alligator swimming outside home

For one family, it wasn’t the flooding waters that kept them indoors during Hurricane Sally — it was the large alligator swimming outside their home. In the street.

Y’all look at that alligator. This is right outside the window!” Tina Bennett, a resident of Gulf Shores, Alabama, says a 30-second clip she posted to YouTube. “It is a 10- or 12-foot alligator. He’s going into the neighbor’s driveway. This is why we don’t want to go outside out here on the island. And there’s many more.

“Oh, he is a monster. Oh, gee,” she says.

More than 320,000 are still without power

More than 320,000 customers were still without power Friday morning in Alabama and Florida, according to the tracker poweroutage.us.

Gulf Power in Florida estimates that power will be restored to the 95% of customers that can accept power in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties by Tuesday.

Out of the eight counties that it services in the Florida Panhandle, Escambia and Santa Rosa counties were the two counties hardest hit by outages caused by the hurricane. 

Early assessments show $29M in damage to roads, public buildings in Escambia County, Pensacola

More than 24 hours after Hurricane Sally made landfall, nearly $29 million of damage has been assessed to public infrastructure in Escambia County and Pensacola, but that number is likely to grow.

Officials from both Escambia County and the city of Pensacola have been out making initial assessments of damage to roads, bridges and public buildings. In just the first day, Escambia County has found at least $21 million in damage to public infrastructure, according to county spokeswoman Laura Coale.

Meanwhile, Pensacola has found at least $7.9 million in damage in the city limits.

Pensacola Bay Bridge may be out of commission for a month

After a crane aboard a barge crashed into the Pensacola Bay Bridge on Wednesday, destroying a section of the bridge’s surface, the bridge may be closed for a month or more.

DeSantis said his understanding was that Skanska, a construction company, had opted not to move the equipment out of the area because of forecasts indicating Sally wouldn’t have a major impact in the Florida Panhandle. However, multiple construction barges broke free from their docks during the hurricane.

“I’d much rather have more precautions taken and then not have to use up resources (after the fact),” DeSantis said.

Florida Sen. Doug Broxson estimated it would be 30 to 60 days before the bridge, among just a handful of arteries between Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, is open again.

Pensacola Bay Bridge may be out of commission for a month

After a crane aboard a barge crashed into the Pensacola Bay Bridge on Wednesday, destroying a section of the bridge’s surface, the bridge may be closed for a month or more.

DeSantis said his understanding was that Skanska, a construction company, had opted not to move the equipment out of the area because of forecasts indicating Sally wouldn’t have a major impact in the Florida Panhandle. However, multiple construction barges broke free from their docks during the hurricane.

“I’d much rather have more precautions taken and then not have to use up resources (after the fact),” DeSantis said.

Florida Sen. Doug Broxson estimated it would be 30 to 60 days before the bridge, among just a handful of arteries between Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, is open again.

‘IN ATTIC HELP:’ Florida couple rescued from flooded home by Jet Ski

The firetrucks and rescue vehicles kept passing her flooded house in Cantonment, Florida, even after Elaine Hulgan, 76, wrote, “IN ATTIC HELP” on the front door, so Hulgan’s 84-year-old husband resorted to his best emergency signal: an ear-splitting whistle. The noise rose above the din, and a firefighter on a Jet Ski soon rescued the couple and their two dogs off the front stoop of their brick home.

The Florida couple were trapped in their home after Hurricane Sally lumbered ashore Wednesday morning.

Now comes the tough part for Elaine and Jack Hulgan – filing insurance claims, dealing with two flooded cars, finding temporary housing and waiting to get home.

Residents of a flood-prone neighborhood north of Pensacola since 1993, the Hulgans know what to do during a big storm. They’ve been flooded twice before and forced into the attic once.

“I wouldn’t wish it on anyone,” Elaine Hulgan said.

‘Tremendous damage’ to one Alabama county from Sally

An official for an Alabama county just east of Mobile Bay said the county suffered “tremendous damage” from Hurricane Sally.

Jenni Guerry, deputy director of emergency management for Baldwin County, said Thursday at a news briefing that search crews were trying to make sure people are accounted for and taking them to safety when needed.

Trees and power lines are down throughout the county, one of Alabama’s largest with about 225,000 people. In a social media post, the county said there are many traffic lights still out, which has led to “collisions and a lot of near misses.”

Contributing: John Bacon, USA TODAY; Annie Blanks, Pensacola News Journal; The Associated Press

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