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Alberto takes aim at the Gulf Coast

Alberto takes aim at the Gulf Coast

Subtropical Storm Alberto - the first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season - was continued roiling toward parts of coastal Mexico and Cuba with rip currents and risky surf on Saturday. Phil Bryant authorized the use of the National Guard, his office said in a statement.

At 8 a.m. EDT, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Alberto was centered about 70 miles (115 kilometers) south of the western tip of Cuba and moving north at 9 mph (15 kph).

But the storm's reach extends far to the north and east, over Cuba and South Florida. "Heavy rain will likely begin to affect the central Gulf Coast region and the southeastern United States later this weekend and continue into early next week".

Tropical storm and storm surge watches continued on Saturday for a long stretch on the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Florida, including all of Alabama's coastline.

"It will probably be (Saturday) before we make any additional decisions". The weather service noted that heavy rainfall will have the potential to cause flooding of low-lying and poor drainage areas.

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In Central Florida, a Flood Watch has been issued through the Memorial Day weekend by the National Weather Service in Melbourne.

Along the coast there is going to be approximately three to six inches of rain. The highest winds are also now away from the center. The subtropical storm will move into the Gulf of Mexico today.

Bay News 9 chief meteorologist Mike Clay estimates that there's only a slim chance of Alberto upgrading to a tropical storm as it approaches Mississippi. A storm surge watch was also issued for parts of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. The coastal Carolinas and southern Florida are expected to have more rain. Up to half an inch of rain was expected to fall in Bradenton on Saturday night. Winds will become gustier tomorrow, and some funnel clouds and isolated tornadoes are possible in the stronger squalls.

We can expect torrential rains at times beginning this afternoon and especially during the overnight on Sunday. Of its 120 drainage pumps, 115 were operational, and the public utility said it had the staff and power to run them in case of severe weather.


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