Sally brought torrential rains and flash flooding to Alabama and Georgia as it sped toward the Carolinas. At 5 p.m. CDT (2200 GMT), it was about 70 miles (115 km) northeast of Augusta, Georgia, moving northeast toward the Atlantic Ocean at 24 miles (39 km) per hour, the US National Hurricane Center said.
JJ McNelis, 64, who co-owns a real estate office in Florida's Perdido Key, tried to salvage equipment and personal items, including pictures of his children, after the hurricane ripped away the building's roof and flung it into neighboring property.
"We anticipated a hurricane," he said. "We didn't expect a direct hit. We thought we'd show up the next day and have a building standing but lo and behold, that's not the case."