By STACEY PLAISANCE AND JANET McCONNAUGHEY

WAVELAND, Miss. (AP) — Hurricane Sally is slowly closing in on the northern Gulf Coast with powerful winds and weather forecasters are warning of “potentially historic” flooding.

Hurricane warnings stretch from Morgan City, Louisiana, to Navarre, Florida. In Alabama on Monday, Gov. Kay Ivey asked for a federal emergency declaration as the weather service warned of a storm surge of more than 9 feet in the Mobile area.

The storm reached Category 2 strength with sustained winds of 100 mph Monday afternoon. Forecasters said winds would likely hit 110 mph by the time the storm makes landfall late Tuesday or early Wednesday on the Mississippi-Alabama state line.

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