MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Gov. Kay Ivey plans to visit the Alabama coast Friday to see the areas hard hit by Hurricane Sally.
The governor will arrive in Gulf Shores and take a helicopter tour of the damage in several coastal cities.
“I know yesterday was very hard,” Ivey said Thursday morning during a briefing with heads of the state EMA, ALEA, and National Guard.
“Citizens woke to extensive damage and destructive property, a loss of power and infrastructure and, sadly, even a loss of life,” she stated. "Your friends and neighbors around the state are praying for you and supporting you.”
The disaster isn’t over yet despite Sally no longer being a hurricane. Alabama EMA Director Brian Hastings said flooding is expected through the weekend. And with roads and bridges affected by the storm, residents are urged not to get out in attempts to view the damage.
Ivey also asked residents to be patient as linemen "will be working in warp speed to try to get your power restored.” As of Thursday morning, more than 200,000 were without power, mostly in the Mobile area.
The governor also asked residents to practice safety, warning about fallen power lines, and about leaving chainsaw use to those proficient with them.
“Sally was a very devastating and historic storm,” Hastings added, confirming the U.S. Coast Guard conducted 24 helicopter missions that saved 18 people in medical and flood rescues.
Alabama National Guard Adjutant General Sheryl Gordon said the ALNG has five rescue teams and has already rescued 35 people in Baldwin County. She added they also have transport teams ready in Montgomery to send supplies to areas that need it, as well as offer traffic control and security to help police that need assistance.
ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor said a swift water rescue team is active and that work is also under way to get roads cleared so teams can help get the power lines back running. He urged people not to drive, saying 12 inches of rain is enough to float a vehicle.