Published: Mon, May 28, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

US Gulf Coast braces for Alberto battering

US Gulf Coast braces for Alberto battering

Alberto was expected to bring heavy rain and severe wind to Florida and other parts of the Gulf Coast.

Subtropical Storm Alberto is expected to bring drenching rains to the Florida Panhandle when it makes landfall on Monday, the day after a separate storm triggered a flood that tore through a historic Maryland town and swept away a man who was trying to help rescue people, officials said.

It says Alberto is on a forecast track to enter the northern Gulf of Mexico during the nighttime hours and approach the northern Gulf Coast in the area of the Florida Panhandle sometime Monday.

All 67 Florida counties were issued the emergency notice to give state and local governments enough time and resources to prepare, Florida Governor Rick Scott said in a statement.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey declared a state of emergency for 40 counties that will be impacted most by Alberto.

It is forecast to drop as much as 30cm (12in) of rain across MS to western Georgia and to bring storm swells of about 60-120cm (2-4ft) to low-lying areas.

Alberto is expected to hold its current strength. but very little additional strengthening is likely before coming ashore across the USA east central Gulf coast.

A storm surge watch means life-threatening conditions are possible from rising water moving inland from the coast. Parts of Florida, Georgia and Alabama could get from 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) with some areas receiving as much as a foot of rain.

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The National Weather Service's Miami office extended its flood watch in South Florida to 6 p.m. Monday as a result of the storm.

Flash flooding is the number one storm-related killer in the United States.

About 400 customers along Florida's Tampa Bay and in the Panhandle were without power Monday morning, according to Florida's Division of Emergency Management.

New Orleans urged residents and businesses to "get prepared and stay informed" about the storm. A more destructive storm could develop over the next 48 hours.

And just as the long holiday weekend marked summer's unofficial start in the U.S., Alberto gave it the unofficial start of what forecasters recently predicted would be an active hurricane season.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its hurricane season forecast last week and it predicts 10 to 16 named storms, with five to nine hurricanes.

There also is a potential for storms and rain throughout the rest of the week, Corless said. The season is likely to be "near or above normal", according to the hurricane center.

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