Thousands evacuate as Alberto bears down on northern Gulf Coast

29 May, 2018, 01:02 | Author: Devin Moran
  • Tommy Whitlock left places a filled sand bag onto his trailer at a Harrison County Road Department sand bag location as Joseph Buckner adjusts the load while preparing for Subtropical Storm Alberto to make its way through the Gulf of Mexico (Credit AP

Forecasters anxious that as Subtropical Storm Alberto spun north through the Gulf of Mexico this weekend, it would fling moisture from the south toward Tampa Bay, assaulting the area with an endless barrage of rain that could lead to unsafe river flooding.

The first storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, Alberto is expected to bring with it damaging winds, heavy rains, and potential flooding, with the National Hurricane Center warning against the very serious threat the storm poses. But this is nature.

Here in the Bay State, meteorologist Matt Doody with the National Weather Service in Boston said the remnants of Alberto will likely be seen as early as next week.

The hurricane center said a tropical storm warning was in effect from the Suwannee River in Florida to the Alabama-Florida state line.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from Anclote River to the Mississippi/Alabama border.

In addition, Alberto will bring high winds and storm surges, with many areas along the northern and eastern Gulf Coast issuing storm surge watches.

The heaviest rain bands and strongest winds began coming ashore around 10 a.m. Monday in Panama City Beach.

At 5 a.m. EDT Sunday, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Alberto was about 330 miles (530 kilometers) south of Apalachicola, Florida, and moving north-northeast at 13 mph (20 kph).


Duffey said the storm is expected to remain relatively mild. These storms may produce several inches of rain in a short period of time. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 65 miles per hour (100 kph) as it approached the northern Gulf of Mexico.

A view of a partially flooded farm as Subtropical Storm Alberto passes by the west coast of Cuba, in Bahia Honda, Cuba, May 26, 2018.

Winds from the storm are forecast to hit Florida's Panhandle on Sunday night.

Tropical Storm Warnings now include the majority of the west coast of Florida.

Moore said the rainy weather late this month is expected to push the Columbia area past its average precipitation for May, typically one of the state's driest months. 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.

However, the storm should not be taken as an indicator of how this hurricane season will play out, he said.

The Midlands is under a flash flood watch from midnight until 8 PM Monday. Up to 2 inches of rain could fall in the Triangle by Tuesday morning, according to the weather service, with Johnston County and places south and east getting up to 3 inches.

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