Alberto Could Bring $1 Billion in Economic Losses to Gulf Coast

Cesar Mills
May 28, 2018

On Sunday morning, the storm was located about 150 miles (240 km) northwest of the Dry Tortugas, which is nearly 70 miles (113 km) west of Key West, Florida, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC).

On Sunday, some USA states were recording winds of 50 miles per hour and up to 10 inches of rain, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center director Ken Graham.

Fortunately for our friends in the Florida Panhandle, dry air has wrapped into the center of Alberto, which will likely make it hard for the storm to get too much stronger before the center comes ashore between Pensacola and Panama City Monday afternoon.

Tropical storm watches remain in effect for all coastal Big Bend counties and all of Franklin and Liberty county.

Forecasters say 2 inches (5 centimeters) of rain is expected on saturated ground with isolated areas getting up to 4 inches (10 centimeters) of rain.

In the Baltimore suburb of Ellicott City, a massive storm caused flash flooding on Sunday that swept through its historic Main Street area, local news video showed. A storm's winds need to reach 74 miles per hour to be called a hurricane. Still, tornadoes, storm surge, flooding and strong winds are possible in Florida, Mississippi and Alabama.

Periods of heavy rain will continue into Tuesday and Wednesday as what's left of Alberto moves northward through the Tennessee and Ohio River valleys.

Alberto is expected to cause heavy rains in South Florida and the Florida Keys while a tropical storm watch is in effect for parts of MS and Alabama.

Tropical Storm Warnings now issued for coasts of Alabama and Florida Panhandle
Tropical Storm Warnings now issued for coasts of Alabama and Florida Panhandle

The governors of Florida, Alabama and MS all declared states of emergency ahead of the storm Saturday. The storm could clip Apalachicola the night before. The storm now has maximum sustained winds of almost 50 miles per hour.

"On the forecast track, the center of Alberto will cross the eastern and northern Gulf of Mexico today and approach the northern Gulf Coast in the warning area tonight or Monday".

Gusty showers were to begin lashing parts of Florida on Sunday, and authorities were warning of the possibility of flash flooding.

Alberto will move further north in the Gulf of Mexico, passing west of the peninsula of Florida. A storm surge watch has been discontinued west of the Florida/Alabama border. The season is likely to be "near or above normal," according to the hurricane center.

Alberto comes after a series of deadly hurricanes in the United States and Caribbean a year ago that walloped places including Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, causing hundreds of billions of dollars in damage, massive power outages and devastation to hundreds of thousands of structures.

Winds of 40 mph extend outward up to 115 miles from the center.

On Monday, Alberto is forecast to make landfall somewhere along the northern Gulf Coast - likely somewhere along the coastal region of the Florida Panhandle or southern Alabama. And in the Tampa Bay area on the central Gulf Coast, cities offered sandbags for homeowners anxious about floods.

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