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.

Cases: 266598

Reported Deaths: 5852
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17807191
Hinds16967332
Harrison14298204
Rankin11280221
Jackson10976190
Lee9088145
Madison8619169
Jones6782118
Forrest6236124
Lauderdale6128192
Lowndes5564120
Lafayette5229101
Lamar507465
Washington4951125
Bolivar4149109
Oktibbeha409482
Panola388281
Pontotoc378560
Warren3698103
Monroe3693110
Marshall358570
Union357764
Pearl River3508106
Neshoba3499154
Leflore3122109
Lincoln307688
Hancock296362
Sunflower293075
Tate281162
Alcorn273554
Pike271081
Itawamba270063
Scott260849
Yazoo257156
Prentiss254554
Coahoma251555
Copiah250749
Tippah250150
Simpson243872
Leake238467
Marion225973
Grenada224272
Covington222473
Adams215371
Wayne215034
Winston207771
George204839
Newton200046
Attala197464
Tishomingo195661
Chickasaw189644
Jasper182538
Holmes172268
Clay167537
Tallahatchie157535
Stone152925
Clarke148662
Calhoun141822
Smith130726
Yalobusha123835
Walthall115037
Greene114529
Noxubee114126
Montgomery112736
Lawrence107617
Carroll106922
Perry105331
Amite102426
Webster97424
Claiborne89725
Tunica89321
Jefferson Davis88930
Benton86523
Humphreys84824
Kemper81020
Quitman7149
Franklin70717
Choctaw63813
Wilkinson59925
Jefferson57121
Sharkey45717
Issaquena1606
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 443009

Reported Deaths: 6662
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson649101007
Mobile31746574
Madison28413217
Tuscaloosa21566275
Montgomery20088332
Shelby19452132
Baldwin17333189
Lee13261107
Morgan12678142
Etowah12141181
Calhoun11555206
Marshall10487123
Houston9031164
Limestone838181
Cullman8296124
Elmore8243110
Lauderdale7946107
DeKalb7900107
St. Clair7876130
Talladega6523112
Walker6050183
Jackson603245
Colbert558194
Blount548586
Autauga540762
Coffee466964
Dale412785
Franklin377550
Russell358415
Chilton346873
Covington340880
Escambia339244
Tallapoosa3163109
Dallas313696
Chambers305470
Clarke303336
Pike265231
Lawrence255855
Marion254661
Winston234742
Bibb222948
Geneva213047
Marengo210531
Pickens200431
Hale186144
Barbour183438
Fayette178829
Butler174860
Cherokee166031
Henry160025
Monroe152621
Randolph146636
Washington142727
Clay130746
Crenshaw124845
Macon122837
Cleburne122125
Lamar120622
Lowndes116836
Wilcox108322
Bullock104628
Perry100518
Conecuh98022
Sumter90627
Greene77923
Coosa64018
Choctaw52124
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