The Latest: Flooding from Sally, a death in Paulette's wake

Nikita Pero of Gulfport, Mississippi, walks with her son Vinny Pero, 2, on the beach along the Gulf of Mexico in Biloxi, Mississippi, Monday.

WAVELAND, Mississippi — Hurricane Sally, a plodding storm with winds of 85 mph, crept toward the northern Gulf Coast early today as forecasters warned of potentially deadly storm surges and flash floods with up to 2 feet of rain and the possibility of tornadoes.

Forecasters stressed “significant” uncertainty as to where the storm's eye would make landfall. But they kept nudging the predicted track eastward, easing fears in New Orleans, which was once in Sally's crosshairs.

By early today, hurricane warnings stretched from the mouth of the Pearl River at the Louisiana-Mississippi line to Navarre, Florida, and forecasters said Sally should reach land near the Alabama-Mississippi state line by late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

Stacy Stewart, a senior specialist with the National Hurricane Center, said today that people should continue to take the storm seriously since “devastating” rainfall is expected in large areas. People could drown in the flooding, he said.

“This is going to be historic flooding along with the historic rainfall,” Stewart said.

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