ibusinesslines.com August 18, 2018

US Gulf Coast braces for Alberto battering

28 May 2018, 07:47 | Justin Tyler

Alberto could drench the Tennessee Valley, cause wind damage

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

Down in the Tampa Bay area, it's still not a beach day.

The storm is the first storm of this year's hurricane season, coming a few day before the season officially starts on June 1.

Forecasters say the most unsafe conditions could be in the mountains.

Subtropical Storm Alberto has gained an early jump on the 2018 hurricane season, heading toward expected landfall sometime Monday on the northern Gulf Coast, prompting thousands to evacuate. Governors in Florida, Mississippi and Alabama on Saturday declared states of emergency.

"Most of the rain will be today and tonight", said Gardner, although scattered storms and showers will be present throughout the week.

The Florida Panhandle has been issued with a mandatory evacuation notice, affecting some 4,200 housing units, while Taylor County, to the east has a voluntary evacuation order in place for its coastal areas. In Gulf County, T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park began evacuations Sunday morning.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a state of emergency for 40 counties that will go into effect at 6 a.m. Sunday, according to a statement from her office.

Cuba is expected to get as much as 15 inches of rain, the hurricane center said in an advisory Saturday morning, and the Florida Keys and South Florida could get as much as 10 inches.

Ivey activated the state's emergency operations centre while the Alabama National Guard activated its high water evacuation teams. However, the storm should not be taken as an indicator of how this hurricane season will play out, he said. Hazardous surf conditions are likely to develop along much of the central and eastern U.S. Gulf Coast through the weekend.

Jeffrey Medlin, meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service's Mobile office, warned that even after the storm passes there will still be swells that could cause risky rip currents. Just because it's "nice and sunny" after the storm passes, Medlin says there's still a risk for swimmers.

Under overcast skies and occasional drizzle, several Gulfport, Mississippi, residents lined up to fill 10- and 20-pound bags with sand they will use to block any encroaching floodwater expected as a result of Alberto. Rain looks like it will continue to hold off tomorrow, but National Weather Service maps state that tropical storm Alberto, moving in from the south, could start adding to the moisture in the area by Wednesday. "That means that people are not allowed to go in the water, there could be legal consequences if they go in the water because there are very unsafe surf conditions so we do that for their safety as well as the safety of responders".

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