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Alberto Could Bring $1 Billion in Losses to U.S. Gulf Coast
30 May 2018, 01:19 | Justin Tyler
Alberto: Tropical storm sees thousands from Florida coast
The Florida panhandle, a good portion of Alabama and western Georgia are dramatically more at risk for flash flooding with this storm. The storm prompted Florida, Alabama and MS to launch emergency preparations over the weekend.
Forecasters said Alberto could bring risky high water to southern coastal states when it douses an area from MS to western Georgia with up to 12 inches of rain and possible tornadoes.
"On the forecast track, the center of Alberto will move over the northern Gulf of Mexico tonight and cross the northern Gulf Coast in the warning area on Monday", the center said.
The storm's maximum sustained winds had reached 65 miles per hour Sunday night - but although it lost strength, National Hurricane Center meteorologist David Zelinsky told NPR there was no reason to relax.
Alberto also was expected to impact Cuba, with an additional 5 to 10 inches of rain projected to hit Central Cuba, forecasters said, with isolated storm totals of 20 to 25 inches of rain. Florida governor Rick Scott issued a declaration for all 67 counties in his state and MS governor Phil Bryant authorised the use of the National Guard, his office said.
Alberto formed days ahead of the official start of the six-month Atlantic hurricane season on June 1.
Mark Bowen, Bay County Emergency management director, said at a Sunday afternoon news conference that the concern isn't with storm surge due to the timing of landfall and the tides. Even the afternoon storms should be widely scattered along the trailing trough left behind by Alberto moving north through Alabama.In between showers, it's certainly not out of the question to see a little peek-a-boo sunshine.
Authorities in Florida's Franklin and Taylor counties issued mandatory evacuation orders for thousands of coastal residents. What had sprung up from the Gulf of Mexico as a subtropical storm was now a vast, soggy system trekking inland as it flung rain - heavy at times - all around the US southeast. These rains may produce flooding and flash flooding.
Watch out for a few areas of patchy fog, mist and drizzle early.
Panama City, Fla. - was bracing for more than 6.5 inches of rain expected through Tuesday night, according to the National Weather Service's office in Tallahassee. A storm's winds need to reach 74 miles per hour to be called a hurricane.
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It was a repeat of another major flood in 2016, when two people were killed and the city suffered millions of dollars in damage. When asked to compare Sunday's flood to the flooding in 2016, Hemmis said, "I'd imagine this is worse".