Rivers swollen by Hurricane Sally’s rains threatened more misery for some residents of the Florida Panhandle and south Alabama on Thursday, even as the storm’s remnants were forecast to dump as much as a foot of rain and spread the threat of flooding to Georgia and the Carolinas.

Coastal residents, meanwhile, looked to begin the recovery from a storm that turned streets into rivers, ripped roofs off buildings, knocked out power to hundreds of thousands and killed at least one person.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis warned residents and visitors in flooded areas that they would need to remain vigilant as water from the hurricane subsides, because heavy rains to the north were expected to cause flooding in Panhandle rivers in the coming days.

“So this is kind of the initial salvo, but there is going to be more that you’re going to have to contend with,” DeSantis said at a Wednesday news conference in Tallahassee.

At least one death was blamed on the hurricane. Orange Beach, Alabama, Mayor Tony Kennon told The Associated Press one person in the popular vacation spot died and another was missing as a result of the storm. He said he could not immediately release details.

Sally blew ashore near Gulf Shores, Alabama, Wednesday morning as a major hurricane with 105 mph (165 kph) winds. It moved slowly, exacerbating the effect of heavy rains. More than 2 feet (61 centimeters) fell near Naval Air Station Pensacola, and nearly 3 feet (1 meter) of water covered streets in downtown Pensacola, the National Weather Service reported.

Some Pensacola streets looked like rivers with whitecaps at times. The waters swamped parked cars before receding.

Sally weakened to a tropical depression late Wednesday and picked up speed. The National Hurricane Center said the system was moving through southeast Alabama, would cross over central Georgia on Thursday and reach South Carolina on Thursday night. Flash flooding and some river flooding was possible in each state.

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The forecasts called for 4 inches (10 centimeters) to 8 inches (29 centimeters) of rain in southeast Alabama and central Georgia by Thursday night, with up to 1 foot (30 centimeters) in some spots, posing a threat of significant flash flooding and “minor to moderate” river floods.

In South Carolina, as much as 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain was possible; in North Carolina, up to 8 inches. Some flash flooding and river flooding was a possibility in those states, the weather service said.

Kennon said the damage in Orange Beach was worse than that from Hurricane Ivan, which hit 16 years to the day earlier. In a Facebook briefing for city residents, Kennon said distribution points would be established Thursday for water, ice and tarps.

“It was an unbelievably freaky right turn of a storm that none of us ever expected,” Kennon said of Sally, which once appeared to have New Orleans in its sights.

Well over a half-million homes and businesses were without electricity in Alabama and Florida, according to the poweroutages.us website. Many faced extended time without power. “We don’t want …read more

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