Alberto Could Bring $1 Billion in Losses to U.S. Gulf Coast

Terry Joseph
May 30, 2018

Though the Atlantic hurricane season doesn't officially start until Friday, Alberto has become the first named storm this year, throwing disarray into long holiday weekend plans along Florida's Gulf Coast.

The storm's center is expected to move over Alabama on Monday night and Tuesday, the NHC said.

Overnight, Subtropical Storm Alberto approaching the Florida panhandle slowed down to half its speed but didn't lose any of its strength, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 30 miles per hour.

Forecasters warned heavy rain, flash flooding and risky surf posed the biggest threats as Alberto's ragged core made landfall near Laguna Beach in the Florida Panhandle.

Forecasters are also warning people in those same areas and in southern SC of the possibility that "brief tornadoes" could develop as Alberto moves further inland. Locally heavy rain can be expected throughout Memorial Day.

Lifeguards posted red flags along the white sands of Pensacola Beach, where swimming and wading were banned amid high surf and unsafe conditions.

Alberto could cause $400 million to $500 million across the South, including damage to cars crushed by toppled trees, wrecked roofs and flooding, Watson said in an interview.

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While Alberto nears the shore, the warning area has been scaled back from the Suwannee River back west to the Florida-Alabama state line. Tropical storm warnings were up for parts of the Panhandle and the Alabama coast. Wednesday will not be day #6 because our hot weather is about to turn tropical!

County emergency officials continue to monitor flood-prone areas, but so far no issues have been reported.

Meanwhile, potentially life-threatening rough surf and rip currents continued on the northern Gulf Coast after Alberto rolled up big waves and tides along the coast. "That brings us cloudy skies and a good chance for showers and a few thunderstorms, with some locally heavy downpours and localized flash flooding possible".

Forecasters said Alberto could bring unsafe high water to southern coastal states when it douses an area from MS to western Georgia with up to 30cm of rain and possible tornadoes. In Gulf County, T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park began evacuations Sunday morning.

Bands of heavy showers could produce torrential rain, perhaps at rates of 1"-3" per hour. And in the Tampa Bay area on the central Gulf Coast, cities offered sandbags for homeowners anxious about floods. National Hurricane Center said.

Alberto made a Memorial Day landfall near Laguna Beach, Fla, just west of Panama City, andofficials warned of unsafe conditions even though its maximum sustained winds fell to 45 miles per hour.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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