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NOAA Gulf of Mexico Disaster Response Center Supporting Hurricane Sally Operations

OCTOBER 5, 2020 — Hurricane Sally made landfall at Gulf Shores, Alabama, on September 16, 2020 as a Category 2 storm with 105 mph winds and devastating storm surge.  The storm’s impacts extended across a broad area of the Northern Gulf of Mexico. 

People at tables in a classroom facing a large screen.
OR&R Scientific Support Coordinator and USCG personnel at the Incident Command Post located at the NOAA Disaster Response Center. Image Credit: NOAA

The NOAA Gulf of Mexico Disaster Response Center (DRC) was built to survive storms such as Hurricane Sally, while providing a base of operations for emergency response support.  Initially, USCG Sector Mobile, which is responsible for coastal Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle, relocated command and planning operations to the DRC in advance of the storm.   

In the wake of Hurricane Sally, more than 1000 displaced and sunken vessels have been identified, 100 of these vessels are reported as leaking fuel, and oil pollution suspected to be ruminates from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in 2010 has remobilized and washed ashore on the Gulf Islands National Seashore just across the Alabama border in Florida.  As the coastal marine response transitioned from immediate threats to life and safety to coastal debris and pollution, OR&R continues to provide mission support.  The DRC is transitioning to the USCG Hurricane Sally Command Post for Marine Environmental Response supported by an OR&R Scientific Support Team.  It is expected that this next response phase will take two to four weeks. 

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Last updated Tuesday, November 8, 2022 1:45pm PST