Alberto to Strike Florida With Heavy Winds and Flooding on US Holiday

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The journalists, namely Mike McCormick and Aaron Smeltzer, reportedly died when a falling tree crushed their vehicle as they drove down a highway in North Carolina.

Janet Rhumes said her group of friends from Kansas had been planning their Memorial Day weekend on Navarre Beach since October, and no tropical storm could deter them.

"It's not a good sign, getting hit by a storm before hurricane season", Husar told the Panama City News Herald.

He said there's no set schedule of when the dam will release water.

Strong winds and waves kicked up by the storm were expected to rapidly diminish through Tuesday along the coasts of Alabama and Florida.

And just as the long holiday weekend marked summer's unofficial start in the U.S., Alberto gave it the unofficial start of what forecasters recently predicted would be an active hurricane season.

Alabama governor Kay Ivey issued a state of emergency for 40 counties, starting at 6am on Sunday.

Ivey activated the state's emergency operations centre while the Alabama National Guard activated its high water evacuation teams. The forecast projects the system moving over the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday and into the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes region on Wednesday and Thursday, the center said.

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"With the ground already saturated in many parts of the state, we are urging people to be prepared for possible flash flooding, hazardous road conditions and river flooding", he said. Parts of Florida, Georgia and Alabama could get from 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) with some areas receiving as much as a foot of rain. On average, the Columbia area receives almost 45 inches of rain annually.

Alberto, now a subtropical depression, is expected to continuing weakening Tuesday (May 29) as it moves inland over Alabama and Tennessee, forecasters said in their morning update.

Some spots have seen several inches of rain over the past few days. Gusty winds have knocked out some power and there is local coastal flooding on the very storm surge-prone coast south of Tallahassee. Isolated deluges of 12 inches were possible.

"Alberto will likely become a subtropical depression tonight or early Tuesday and degenerate into a remnant low by Tuesday afternoon", the NHC said.

Stay dry and stay safe!

Severe Subtropical Storm Alberto "has the same impacts as a tropical storm", Kottlowski noted, adding, "that includes tropical-storm-force winds of 39-55 miles per hour, a storm surge potential, heavy rain and the potential for isolated tornadoes".

Hurricane season runs from June 1 until November 1 and peaks from mid-August through late October.