Florida, Alabama, Mississippi under state of emergencies as Alberto approaches

Clark Diaz
May 27, 2018

A cyclist tries to stay dry in Miami Beach, Fla.

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. In Cuba 10 to 15 inches of rain is forecast with isolated totals up to 25 inches in some locations.

Rick Scott (R) declared a state of emergency Saturday over the impending landfall of Subtropical Storm Alberto.

On Thursday, the National Hurricane Center caused eyebrows to raise when it estimated a 90 percent chance that a subtropical or tropical cyclone would form in the central or eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend.

Alberto approaching Cuba as it begins to make turn north
Gov. Rick Scott declares state of emergency across Florida over fears of subtropical storm Alberto

In the next 24 hours Alberto is expected to strengthen as it continues to travel north over warmers waters in the Gulf and combines with an upper level low.

The states of Florida and MS declared states of emergency in preparation for Alberto, while Alabama said it would order the same at 6 a.m.

"Locally heavy rainfall is forecast across western Cuba and over much of Florida and the northern Gulf coast into early next week", senior hurricane specialist Stacy Stewart said in Friday's tropical weather outlook.

Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni said Friday that administrative personnel is prepared for rains expected from Subtropical Storm Alberto ...

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That Flood Watch is in effect from 2 p.m. Saturday until 8 p.m. Monday.

Bay News 9 chief meteorologist Mike Clay estimates that there's only a slim chance of Alberto upgrading to a tropical storm as it approaches Mississippi.

Instead Alberto could be a stronger tropical storm near the time of landfall with sustained winds up to 60 miles per hour. The 40 mph winds extend outward up to 140 miles to the east of the center of the storm, the Hurricane Center said.

Hurricane season doesn't formally start until June 1. Some areas could see flooding, heavy winds and possibly tornadoes.

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Nick Ellis III and his father Nick Ellis II picked up their sandbags Saturday and gave Manatee County workers a hand by picking up shovels and filling their own bags.

The weekend Memorial Day barbecue and your summer-opening dip in the ocean isn't looking too good. Heavy rainfall, flooding and tropical winds. Boating conditions will continue to be risky, however. Jordan Sawmiller of OH tells WALA-TV that he was approaching the water with caution in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

"I'm 65 years old and too old to be doing this", he said, laughing.

Forecasters at the center in Miami issued the warnings Saturday evening.

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The National Weather Service has issued flash flood advisories across the region. They told WALB-TV that farmers are anxious about already-soaked young plants.

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