As the first major storm of 2018 nears the United States, governors of two states have declared a state of emergency.
Florida, Gov. Rick Scott said he has taken steps “to ensure our state has the resources they need to keep their families safe and prepare for the torrential rain and severe flooding Subtropical Storm Alberto will bring.”
Scott said all parts of the state need to be prepared.
“Do not think that only areas in the cone will be impacted — everyone in our state must be prepared,” Scott said in a statement, CNN reported.
One Florida official said the state is watching the storm with great concern because its path is so uncertain.
“The only thing that we know about Alberto so far is that we don’t really yet know Alberto,” said Wes Maul, Florida’s emergency management director, according to the Miami Herald. “The timing is uncertain, the impacts are uncertain, the intensity is uncertain… The entire state is going to see impacts regardless.”
Governors of Florida and Mississippi have declared states of emergencies ahead of Subtropical Storm Alberto making landfall along the upper Gulf Coast at the end of the Memorial Day holiday weekend: https://t.co/ZFmFh9oRNb pic.twitter.com/GGvmg6rLGG
— AccuWeather (@breakingweather) May 26, 2018
However, with projections showing the storm is likely to make landfall in Mississippi or Alabama, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant followed Scott’s lead and declared a state of emergency in his state, ABC reported.
Bryant said the declaration made, “the National Guard and other resources available should they become necessary.”
2 p.m. May 26th Subtropical Storm Alberto update: The maximum sustained winds for Alberto remain near 40 mph, and the storm is moving to the north at 13 mph. A wind advisory is in effect for the Florida Keys from 8 EDT tonight until 5 a.m. tomorrow morning #FLwx #FLKeys pic.twitter.com/yC1StyNK8V
— NWS Key West (@NWSKeyWest) May 26, 2018
As of Saturday afternoon, Alberto was about 95 miles east-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico, and moving northward at about 13 mph with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. A tropical storm watch was later issued for Florida and much of the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle near Tallahassee to the New Orleans area, CBS reported.
Forecasters expect Alberto will come ashore Monday or Tuesday, but noted that heavy rainfall will precede landfall and could begin Sunday along the Gulf Coast. During periods of heaviest rain, rain could fall at the rate of two inches per hour, forecasters said.
A National Hurricane Center advisory said heavy rain will hit multiple states.
“Rainfall accumulations of 3 to 7 inches with maximum amounts of 10 inches are possible across the Florida Keys and southern and southwest Florida,” the advisory said.
Florida is not alone, it warned.
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) May 26, 2018
“Rainfall totals of 5 to 10 inches with maximum amounts of 15 inches are possible along the track of Alberto from eastern Louisiana, across much of Mississippi, Alabama, western Tennessee and the western Florida panhandle. Rainfall totals of 3 to 5 inches with maximum totals of 8 inches possible from the southern Appalachians into the coastal southeast,” the advisory said.
Officially, the hurricane season begins June 1. To date, predictions from the National Hurricane Center are that the coming year will be “near- or above-normal,” CNN reported.
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