by SC Publisher Shannen Hayes
Tropical Storm Sally left its mark on Sanibel over the weekend – dumping nearly 13 inches of rain between Saturday and early Monday morning, causing localized flooding of streets and the Shared Use Path and scattering vegetative debris across the island.
Sally had strengthened from a tropical depression once it moved over the southwest Gulf of Mexico on Saturday afternoon. It’s effects began to be felt on the island by Saturday evening with constant rainfall totaling 4.25 inches by 7 a.m. Sunday. The rain continued throughout Sunday for an additional 8.6 inches by 8 a.m. Monday.
Sally was about 50 miles west of Sanibel on Sunday and the National Weather Service reported waterspouts just six miles offshore which prompted tornado warnings that evening. Sally is now a hurricane chugging slowly across the warm Gulf waters and expected to reach shore Tuesday between the western Florida panhandle and southeast Louisiana.
“The bottom line continues to be that Sally is expected to be a dangerous slow-moving hurricane near the coast of southeastern Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama during the next two to three days,” the National Hurricane Center said early Monday.
For only the second time in recorded history, there are five tropical cyclones churning in the Atlantic basin, the Associated Press has reported: Paulette, Teddy and now Vicky also are spinning over ocean waters.
While the water has receded from most of Sanibel’s streets, some stretches of roads, many parking lots and a majority of the SUP remain under water on Monday. Sanibel has received a total of 20.47 inches of rain since Sept. 5 and more rain is predicted throughout the seven days.