Subtropical Storm Alberto makes landfall in Florida; 2 journalists killed in North Carolina

A weakened Subtropical Storm Alberto made landfall Monday afternoon in the Florida Panhandle, showering the Southeast...

Posted: May 29, 2018 11:21 AM
Updated: May 29, 2018 11:21 AM

A weakened Subtropical Storm Alberto made landfall Monday afternoon in the Florida Panhandle, showering the Southeast with rain and killing at least two people.

The storm is threatening the Southeast with flooding as it is expected to spread moisture across the region into the middle of the week.

Alberto's winds continued to slow down throughout Monday, reaching maximum sustained winds of 45 mph as it made landfall in Laguna Beach, west of Panama City on the northern Gulf Coast, according to the National Hurricane Center. The winds decreased to 40 mph by Monday night, when the storm was moving north at close to 10 mph.

In Polk County, North Carolina, news anchor Mike McCormick and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer, of Greenville, South Carolina-based CNN affiliate WYFF, were killed Monday when a tree fell on their SUV as they covered the hazardous weather, the station said.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said the two died due to storm-related conditions. "North Carolina needs to take Alberto seriously," Cooper said in a news release.

Alberto also disrupted Memorial Day plans in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi as it moved into the Southeast.

Instagram user Melody Kay Carroll posted a video clip of wind and rain in a Panama City parking deck. "Strong squalls off and on" had kept her inside, she said.

States prepare for storm

The heaviest rain bands and strongest winds began coming ashore around 10 a.m. Monday in Panama City Beach.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the northern Gulf Coast from the Aucilla River west to the Okaloosa/Walton County line, the National Hurricane Center said in its 8 p.m. ET update.

The three states likely to bear the brunt of the storm have been preparing states of emergency.

Click here to track the storm

Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued a declaration for all 67 counties in his state. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant authorized the use of the National Guard, his office said.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a state of emergency for 40 counties, starting at 6 a.m. Sunday. Ivey activated the state's emergency operations center while the Alabama National Guard activated its high water evacuation teams.

The storm's center is expected to move over Alabama on Monday night and Tuesday, the NHC said. 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.

Flash flooding risk

Flooding and flash flooding are possible in the Southeast, including Florida, the NHC said in its latest update.

Alberto could bring isolated storm totals up to 12 inches in areas of the Florida Panhandle into much of Alabama and western Georgia through Tuesday, the NHC said. The Florida Keys and Florida peninsula could receive up to 5 inches of rain in some areas.

"Heavy rainfall will lead to a significant risk of flash flooding across the Florida Panhandle, much of Alabama, and western Georgia through tonight, spreading northward into northern Georgia, the western Carolinas, and Tennessee on Tuesday," the NHC said.

The National Weather Service said 2 to 6 inches of rain are expected in the rest of the Southeast and the Tennessee Valley into the lower mid-Atlantic from Tennessee east through the Carolinas.

"The combination of storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline," the NHC said, with water potentially reaching 1 to 3 feet above ground if the peak surge occurs during high tide.

Isolated tornadoes possible

Isolated tornadoes are likely through Monday night in parts of Georgia and southeastern Alabama, the NHC said.

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

Authorities in New Orleans urged residents and businesses to "get prepared and stay informed" about the storm. The main threat is from heavy rain that could lead to flooding, the city said, but also high winds and storm surge could cause problems.

"I strongly encourage everyone to be safe and stay informed," Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in a statement.

Hurricane season doesn't officially begin until June 1, but Alberto apparently missed the memo. The tropical system became a subtropical storm Friday, the National Hurricane Center said.

The early storm doesn't necessarily mean this year's hurricane season will be as busy as last year's, though. The season is likely to be "near or above normal," according to the NHC.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 65436

Reported Deaths: 1848
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5544117
DeSoto357430
Harrison240635
Madison239664
Rankin225132
Jackson222542
Jones185058
Forrest175855
Washington160640
Lauderdale139790
Lee138333
Neshoba128492
Lamar119214
Oktibbeha109638
Bolivar109333
Lowndes105837
Warren103332
Panola102612
Scott99520
Sunflower99224
Lafayette95615
Copiah94528
Leflore90762
Pike89635
Holmes87348
Grenada83821
Yazoo81512
Pontotoc8098
Lincoln79641
Leake78625
Simpson78630
Monroe76952
Wayne75321
Coahoma71511
Tate70527
Marshall6749
Marion64320
Winston61116
Adams61025
Covington61013
Union60116
George5494
Newton53711
Pearl River52937
Tallahatchie52210
Attala51525
Walthall49119
Chickasaw45019
Noxubee44811
Calhoun4079
Prentiss40310
Claiborne39813
Alcorn3975
Smith39713
Clay39214
Jasper3819
Hancock37314
Tishomingo3635
Itawamba34810
Tippah34213
Clarke32525
Tunica3226
Montgomery3153
Lawrence3127
Yalobusha31210
Humphreys28311
Carroll26011
Quitman2521
Greene23611
Jefferson Davis2286
Kemper22714
Amite2256
Webster22512
Perry2237
Wilkinson20113
Jefferson1946
Sharkey1944
Stone1864
Benton1420
Choctaw1314
Franklin1192
Issaquena251
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 94827

Reported Deaths: 1674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson12743242
Mobile9565206
Montgomery6521148
Madison525030
Tuscaloosa410371
Unassigned347461
Baldwin344323
Shelby320133
Marshall309034
Lee262844
Morgan233017
Etowah207530
DeKalb177113
Calhoun170413
Elmore169438
Walker150264
Houston136412
Russell13422
Dallas131123
St. Clair131016
Limestone128413
Franklin125820
Cullman120112
Colbert115613
Lauderdale113917
Autauga106521
Escambia105416
Talladega98613
Jackson9454
Tallapoosa84979
Chambers83538
Dale82323
Blount7743
Chilton7676
Butler75935
Coffee7475
Covington72620
Pike6907
Barbour5695
Lowndes56724
Marion56724
Marengo54614
Clarke4969
Hale46726
Bullock45411
Winston44411
Perry4364
Wilcox41810
Bibb4164
Monroe4154
Randolph39410
Pickens3849
Conecuh38210
Sumter36218
Lawrence3441
Macon33213
Washington32712
Crenshaw3133
Choctaw27912
Cherokee2637
Geneva2550
Henry2523
Greene25011
Clay2495
Lamar2172
Fayette1985
Cleburne1251
Coosa1012
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