'Alberto' to Hit Florida Before Hurricane Season

Kerry GarnerMay 29, 2018

The storm, coming on the last day of the Memorial Day weekend, was expected to scramble holiday travel.

A tropical storm watch is in effect for Tampa even though the city is not in the forecast cone, Graham said in his advisory.

Alberto could cause $400 million to $500 million across the South, including damage to cars crushed by toppled trees, wrecked roofs and flooding, Watson said in an interview.

"This is definitely a risky storm". However, as the storm moves north and west, flooding will be a major concern, particularly in communities such as Orange Beach.

Mandatory evacuations were issued for Franklin County's barrier islands and anybody living on the coastline in mobile homes and recreational vehicle parks.

Alberto's high winds also led to concerns over the threat of storm surge and unsafe rip currents from the coasts of Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. A tropical storm warning was in effect from the Suwannee River to the Alabama/Florida border.

The season's first named subtropical storm, Alberto, is nearing landfall by Pensacola, Florida, as it brings heavy rain from Florida to Georgia to the Carolinas. It is still predicted to bring extremely heavy rain, gusty winds and, just east of where the center makes landfall, a rise in ocean water of up to several feet above normally dry land. With maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour, Alberto was moving north at 9 miles per hour.

US Gulf Coast braces for first named storm of the season
Alberto Could Bring $1 Billion in Economic Losses to Gulf Coast

It is the first named Atlantic storm of 2018 and spun up days before the formal June 1 start of the hurricane season.

Hardest hit will be small businesses that expected revenue from Memorial Day weekend tourists, Watson said. On the current path it will make landfall as a subtropical torm. somewhere across the western Florida Panhandle.

Officials in one Florida Panhandle county say that Subtropical Storm Alberto will likely dump rain on the region, but they're less concerned about storm surge.

Alberto, the first named Atlantic storm of 2018, which spun up days before the formal June 1 start of the hurricane season, was packing maximum sustained winds near 105 kilometres per hour and was expected to drop as much as 30cm of rain, slamming an area from MS to western Georgia, the Miami-based hurricane centre said.

Rough conditions were whipping up big waves off the eastern and northern Gulf Coast, and authorities warned swimmers to stay out of the surf because of life-threatening swells and rip currents.

The flood watch runs to 8 p.m. Sunday, during the period when Alberto is expected to pass closest to South Florida on its course toward the northern Gulf coast.

His Mississippi and Alabama counterparts also declared states of emergency, citing the threat of coastal and inland flooding from storm rains.

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