MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey urged people Thursday to please be patient and wait another day before trying to clean up Hurricane Sally’s aftermath.
In a Thursday morning news conference, Ivey said crews are still in the recovery and rescue stage of storm response and many first responders were overwhelmed with work. Crews were out Thursday working to restore power for the first time, she said, after staying busy the day before working to keep power to essential systems like hospitals and water systems.
“I know it’s uncomfortable and downright scary to be sitting in the darkness of your home without any lights, but please be patient,” she said.
Water rescue teams had performed dozens of rescues during the storm, officials said, but it seemed most people were able to get to safety before the hurricane hit.
“Sally was a very devastating, historic storm, and it seems like people heeded some of the warnings,” Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director Brian Hastings said “And I’m so pleased that people were able to get out of harm’s way.”
At least one person was reported killed in Orange Beach Wednesday. Another person had been reported missing.
Officials warned that the storm may be gone, but the threat of flooding remains. Hastings said rivers in the region were in danger of reaching flood stage throughout the weekend, and people should look for flooding updates from their local EMAs and the National Weather Service.
Hastings also said people should not go back to their homes until their area is deemed safe, and people should be careful during recovery – staying away from downed power lines and being careful operating tools like chainsaws.
Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Secretary Hal Taylor said people who are traveling south to check on beach homes and other property they may own should have identification and documentation proving they own property in the affected areas, so authorities will know to let them in. He also said people should avoid standing or moving water on roadways.
“As little as 12 inches will move a small car,” Taylor said. “You don’t know how deep it is. You don’t know if there’s a power line under it. Please do not go through standing water or moving water.”