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Thousands evacuate as Storm Alberto powers toward Florida

Thousands evacuate as Storm Alberto powers toward Florida

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

Subtropical Storm Alberto is expected to remain well west of the Triangle as it moves north from the Gulf of Mexico, but the storm is helping to steer heavy, potentially flooding rains our way.

The first named storm of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season made landfall Monday afternoon near Laguna Beach, Florida - just west of Panama City Beach and almost 300 miles west of Jacksonville.

Mandatory evacuations were issued for Franklin County's barrier islands and anybody living on the coastline in mobile homes and recreational vehicle parks. It had winds of up to 60 miles per hour and was expected to increase to tropical storm conditions as it gets closer to shore. The storm prompted Florida, Alabama and MS to launch emergency preparations over the weekend.

Florida Governor Rick Scott, who issued a state of emergency on Saturday in all of the state's 67 counties, said on Sunday that the Florida National Guard has 5,500 guard members ready to be deployed if needed.

The heaviest rand and strongest winds began to hit Panama City Beach at around 10am on Monday (4pm BST) and the conditions will continue into the afternoon as the centre of the storm gets closer to land.

"If you are planning to travel on Monday (Memorial Day) the combination of severe weather and heavy traffic conditions could prove hazardous".




Alberto's projected storm track has shifted eastward since Friday, lessening its threat to the active oil production areas in the Gulf of Mexico. Storm surge flooding was less of a concern because Alberto's arrival would not coincide with high tide, he said. The NHC canceled a tropical storm warning west of the Alabama/Florida border.

Waters off the eastern and northern Gulf Coast are expected to be rough through Tuesday.

Forecasters say heavy rains from Subtropical Storm Alberto could cause flooding across most of SC.

Subtropical Storm Alberto is about to make Memorial Day 2018 a washout when it makes landfall. Just because it's "nice and sunny" after the storm passes, Medlin says there's still a risk for swimmers. Onshore areas along the coast also account for about 45 percent of US refining capacity and 51 percent of gas processing.

Hurricane season doesn't formally start until June 1. "It's not going to be widespread rainfall", Doody said.

Subtropical Storm Alberto has gained some strength over the last 24 hours.

If that forecast holds, it would make for a near-normal or above-normal season.

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