The gulf Coast braces for tropical storm Alberto
Alabama, Mississippi and Florida declare states of emergency ahead of expected storm surge and flooding; Jonathan Serrie reports from Pensacola Beach, Florida.
The first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season made landfall late Monday in the Florida panhandle, bringing heavy rainfall and strong winds to the coast normally packed with Memorial Day crowds.
The National Hurricane Center said in its 5 p.m. and opinion that Subtropical Storm Alberto’s top sustained winds of 45 mph, and made landfall near Laguna Beach in the Florida panhandle
“On the forecast track, the center of Alberto will be over the northern Gulf Coast in the warning area this afternoon or evening,” the centre says. “The weakening of the system is forecast to move inland into the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday and into the Ohio Valley and the Great Lakes region on Wednesday and Thursday.”
A flood Watch is in effect from the Suwannee River to Navarre, Florida, for the possibility of a life-threatening flooding along the coast associated with #Alberto. Water heights can reach 2 to 4 feet above the ground somewhere in the watch area: https://t.co/o9WtCmMo1c pic.twitter.com/8O8OiFXEKc
— NHC Atlantic Ops (@NHC_Atlantic) May 28, 2018
The NHC warned of life-threatening surf conditions, the possibility of a few brief tornadoes in much of Florida and parts of Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama. Heavy rains are also expected in many areas, with a number of locations between up to a foot of rain in the Florida panhandle, Alabama.
Alberto’s approach to the region triggered mandatory evacuations of some small, sparsely-populated Coast of the Gulf of barrier islands in one Florida county.
Sea turtle nest monitors with the Clearwater Marine Aquarium back in the rain from the north of Clearwater Beach, Fla., if rain falls on the beach early Sunday morning, May 27, 2018, as in the north Subtropical Storm Alberto emerges in the gulf to the southwest.
((Jim Damaske/Tampa Bay Times via AP)
Lifeguards posted red flags along the white sands of Pensacola Beach, where swimming and wading are forbidden, in the middle of high waves and dangerous conditions. The hurricane center said a tropical storm warning was in effect from the Suwannee River in Florida to the Mississippi-Alabama state line.
“We currently have, the double red flags,” Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford said at a press conference Sunday. “That means that people are not allowed to go in the water, there may be legal consequences if they go in the water, because there are very dangerous surf conditions so we do that for their own safety and the safety of the workers.”
THOUSANDS EVACUATE AS ALBERTO BEARS DOWN ON THE NORTHERN COAST OF THE GULF OF
Rain falls on Clearwater Beach at Pier 60 early Sunday morning, May 27, 2018, as in the north Subtropical Storm Alberto emerges in the gulf to the southwest.
(Jim Damaske/Tampa Bay Times via AP)
The Florida Division of Emergency Management said in a statement Sunday that a mandatory evacuation is issued in Franklin County for all of the barrier islands and in the province of living directly on the coast in a mobile home, or recreation vehicle parks.
The storm of the approach during the busy Memorial Day weekend, causing disruptions for local businesses, eating away at profits.
Florida impacted by Alberto as the US will see high temperatures
In the seaside resort of san marco, located south of Tallahassee, the threat of severe weather kept many people from the Riverside Cafe. Bartender John Hargan told WCTV what is normal is a big weekend for the restaurant, however, is changed in a “all hands on deck” situation for the treatment of any damage.
“We’re going to plug everything that we unplug, we’re going to lift it up the best that we can and we are going to let mother nature take its course,” he said.
THE GULF COAST BRACES FOR IMPACT AS ALBERTO THREATENS FLOODING
Another small company, Taylor Airboats, told FOX35 they had to cancel some bookings in the weekend.
Rain falls on Clearwater Beach at Pier 60 early Sunday morning, May 27, 2018, as in the north Subtropical Storm Alberto emerges in the gulf to the southwest. as in the north Subtropical Storm Alberto emerges in the gulf to the southwest.
(Jim Damaske/Tampa Bay Times via AP)
“I had a number of people that wanted to go out on the boat, but I said, I don’t think we’re going to make, because it comes in pretty quickly,” owner Dennis Inman said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @travfed