Published: Mon, May 28, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

SC faces heavy rain due to storm

SC faces heavy rain due to storm

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.

Flood and flash-flood watches are spread across Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, where 4 to 7 inches (10 to 18 centimeters) of rain could fall through early next week and reach into South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee expected to be hit by Alberto's remnants, the National Weather Service said.

States of emergency were declared in Florida, Alabama and MS on Saturday as upwards of 15 inches of rain is forecast for the national Memorial Day weekend holiday. The Florida Division of Emergency Management said in a statement Sunday that a mandatory evacuation has been issued in Franklin County for all barrier islands there and those in the county living directly on the coast in mobile homes or in recreation vehicle parks. A Tropical Storm Warning means tropical storm conditions are expected with winds sustained at 39 miles per hour or greater. The tropical storm watch along the north-central Gulf Coast has been discontinued.

The forecast track of Subtropical Storm Alberto has shifted farther east, the National Hurricane Center said Saturday night.

Due to the higher humidity, and some moisture being drawn up from Alberto, any storm that does develop will produce heavy, localized rainfall.

The NHC also announced cancellations of a tropical storm warning for the west coast of Florida south of the Anclote River and a storm surge watch along the northern Gulf Coast west of Navarre.

Ellicott City flooding prompts emergency rescues, state of emergency
Footage of Sunday's flash flooding showed water surging around cars and pickup trucks and coursing over the top of their wheels. It prompted emergency rescues as the raging waters engulfed cars and rose above the first floor of some buildings.

Wes Maul, the state's emergency management director, said the timing of the storm is uncertain, but the entire state will feel the effects. Two-four feet of storm surge is also possible as Alberto nears landfall along the Gulf coast, including the Florida Panhandle.

The National Hurricane Center dropped the lingering Tropical Storm Warning for the northern half of Longboat Key and Tampa Bay in its 5 p.m. bulletin.

"Heavy rains and gusty winds continue to spread northward over Florida", tweeted the account. In southern Alabama and the Florida panhandle, the storm could bring more than 8 inches of rain.

Alberto is the first major storm of the 2018 hurricane season, which doesn't officially begin until June 1 and runs through the fall.

A tropical storm watch is in effect for parts of MS and Alabama, meaning the conditions for a full storm are possible in the next 48 hours.

The heaviest rain is expected Monday morning.

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