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Florida Is In A State Of Emergency As Subtropical Storm Alberto Approaches

29 May 2018, 03:19 | Ross Houston

Florida Is In A State Of Emergency As Subtropical Storm Alberto Approaches

Florida Is In A State Of Emergency As Subtropical Storm Alberto Approaches

Normally packed with vacationers over the Memorial Day weekend, beaches along the eastern U.S. Gulf Coast are largely empty as a slowly strengthening storm carrying brisk winds and heavy rain approaches. The season is likely to be "near or above normal", according to the hurricane center.

Subtropical Storm Alberto was moving northward through the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday.

Heavy downpours were expected to begin lashing parts of Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on Sunday.

Cuba is expected to get as much as 15 inches of rain, the National Hurricane Centre said.

Alberto may strengthen slightly in the next several hours, but it looks like it has run out of time to transition to a fully tropical storm before it makes landfall around noon Monday on the Florida panhandle. As it travels up the warm waters of the Gulf, it could well become a full tropical storm.

Rick Scott issued the declaration for all 67 counties in his state. Phil Bryant authorized the use of the National Guard, his office said in a statement.

Florida Is In A State Of Emergency As Subtropical Storm Alberto Approaches
Florida Is In A State Of Emergency As Subtropical Storm Alberto Approaches

Watches were issued for storm surges - life-threatening inundations from rising coastal waters moving inland - for a stretch of coastline between Crystal River, Florida, and the mouth of the Mississippi River.

The National Weather Service said: "Swells from Alberto will create unsafe surf and rip currents along the Gulf Coast".

Alberto is expected to produce heavy rainfall and flooding over western Cuba, South Florida and the Florida Keys, the National Hurricane Center said Sunday. Isolated tornadoes could erupt over the Florida Keys or southwestern Florida late Saturday.

Forecasters at the National Weather Service in Mobile, Alabama, warned residents along coastal Alabama and MS as well as the Florida Panhandle to brace for heavy rain and high winds. Water could reach up to 4 feet above ground in some areas if the peak surge occurs during high tide, the agency said on Facebook.

On Friday morning, the agency announced that an area of low pressure in the Caribbean had developed into Subtropical Storm Alberto with maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour. A tropical storm watch and flash flood watch remain in effect.

Forecasters say heavy rains from Subtropical Storm Alberto could cause flooding across most of SC.

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