Published: Tue, May 29, 2018
Science | By

Florida declares state of emergency ahead of storm Alberto

Florida declares state of emergency ahead of storm Alberto

It is expected to reach tropical storm strength before the new estimated time of landfall Monday evening.

The National Hurricane Center track has shifted about 30 miles closer to the Gulf coast and Tropical Storm Warnings have been extended up the coast.

Florida and MS launched emergency preparations Saturday ahead of the arrival of Subtropical Storm Alberto, a slow-moving system expected to cause wet misery across the eastern U.S. Gulf Coast over the holiday weekend. The season is likely to be "near or above normal", according to the hurricane center.

The first named storm of this season, Alberto is expected to strengthen as it moves up the Gulf this weekend, the National Hurricane Center said, bringing heavy rains and possible floods to Florida and much of the Southeast in the coming days. The Florida Keys could see as much as 10 inches of rain, the hurricane center said.

An official from the National Weather Service warns that even after Subtropical Storm Alberto passes, there's still a risk for rip currents.

At a briefing in Tallahassee, Florida authorities urged residents to take the storm seriously and to organize water, food, medicines and other preparations. Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency, which gives him wide latitude to prepare.

Subtropical Storm Alberto heads to the US Gulf

In Mississippi, Gov. Phil Bryant activated the National Guard.

The expected impact on the Mississippi Coast has lessened, and the storm surge watch has been canceled for the three coastal counties.

Authorities say conditions are especially risky with flooding rains coming overnight and on a holiday weekend when many people have outdoor plans.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami issued tropical storm warnings for parts of Florida and Alabama, saying tropical storm conditions are possible there by Sunday night. Isolated tornadoes could erupt over the Florida Keys or southwestern Florida late Saturday. Sustained winds will be in the 10-20 miles per hour range.

A tropical storm watch is now in place from the New Orleans area to the Aucilla River in the Florida panhandle.

A tropical storm warning has been issued for the Mississippi/Alabama border to the Aucilla River in Florida. The main threat is from heavy rain that could lead to flooding, the city said, but also high winds and storm surge could cause problems.

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