Alabama reports 2nd death from Hurricane Sally; Alpha forms

National

A car is covered in branches in the aftermath of Hurricane Sally, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, in Pensacola, Fla. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (AP) — A second death from Hurricane Sally was reported Friday in Alabama on a day that also saw the National Hurricane Center have to resort to using the Greek alphabet for storm names in a record-setting season.

Baldwin County coroner Dr. Brian Pierce said the death in the Foley area and was of someone who was involved in storm cleanup. He gave no other details on the death.

Another person in the county died Wednesday morning as the hurricane was blowing through in an apparent drowning.

And in Florida, authorities were looking for a missing kayaker who was feared dead, Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said. The U.S. Coast Guard is looking for the man who went out on the day of the storm, he said.

“We’ve been telling everyone how fortunate we are about not having any deaths. We may have our first hurricane-related death as a result of it,” the sheriff said.

Meanwhile off the coast of Portugal, Subtropical Storm Alpha formed. It is only the second time the Hurricane Center has had to use the Greek alphabet after running out of its traditional storm names. The only time they had done this before was in the deadly 2005 hurricane season, during which Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.

Alpha’s maximum sustained winds were near 50 mph (85 kph) with little change in strength expected before landfall. It was centered about 75 miles (125 kilometers) north of Lisbon, Portugal, and is moving northeast near 17 mph (28 kph). Alpha is expected to move across the coast of west-central Portugal during the next few days, the Hurricane Center said.

Alpha came within hours of Tropical Storm Wilfred also forming in the eastern Atlantic, using the last of the traditional names for tropical systems. That storm’s maximum sustained winds Friday morning were near 40 mph (65 kph). Slight strengthening was possible during the day but weakening should start over the weekend, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Wilfred was centered about 630 miles (1,015 kilometers) west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands and was moving west-northwest near 17 mph (28 kph).

The prior record for the earliest 21st named storm was Wilma on October 8, 2005, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach.

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