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Florida declares state of emergency ahead of storm Alberto

Florida declares state of emergency ahead of storm Alberto

During Saturday, western Virginia will have a higher chance of rain.

Western Cuba could see rainfall totals of over 2 feet with Alberto, which could cause life threatening flash flooding and mudslides.

Subtropical Storm Alberto - the first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season - was roiling parts of coastal Mexico and Cuba with rip currents and unsafe surf on Saturday.

Parts of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana have already seen heavy rain this week, and further deluges could leave those areas vulnerable to flash flooding and river flooding.

Hotels along the Emerald Coast were seeing some cancellations, but not many.

Under overcast skies and occasional drizzle, several Gulfport, Mississippi, residents lined up to fill 10- and 20-pound (5- and 9-kilogram) bags with sand they will use to block any encroaching floodwater expected as a result of Alberto.

Damita Bridges, front desk associate at the Best Western on Okaloosa Island, said less than half of guests had canceled their weekend reservations.

"People have to be prepared regardless of predictions having to do with the number of storms".

Subtropical Storm Alberto
Image By NOAA

"This is a fair amount of activity we're expecting".

Forecasters at the National Weather Service warned residents along coastal Alabama and MS as well as the Florida Panhandle to brace for heavy rain and high winds.

The National Hurricane Center forecasts Alberto to be a Tropical Storm when it makes landfall either late Sunday evening or early Monday morning (winds between 39-74 mph). Its top winds were 40 miles per hour as it was moving north at 13 miles per hour. Subtropical storms typically have cooler temperatures near the center, and the area of strongest winds and storms are well removed from the center of circulation. As a storm strengthens over the ocean, it can become a tropical storm and even a hurricane. These projections will change as the storm gets closer. All key personnel from agencies like the School Board, Health Department and Sheriff's Office will be on standby.

The storm is expected to approach the US northern Gulf Coast on the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, according to the latest National Weather Service (NWS) advisory.

Due to the higher humidity, and some moisture being drawn up from Alberto, any storm that does develop will produce heavy, localized rainfall.

We'll have more information regarding the progress of the storm, so stick with us as we continue to follow it.

Through all of this, expect rain of half a footto a foot along the coast, to 4 to 8 inches for inland counties.

"The threat of rip currents will steadily increase along the Gulf Coast from Florida westward to Louisiana over the Memorial Day weekend", according to the National Hurricane Center.

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