Florida panhandle braces as storm Alberto gains new strength

Subtropical Storm Alberto makes landfall inĀ Florida

In the Baltimore suburb of Ellicott City, a massive storm caused flash flooding on Sunday that swept through its historic Main Street area, local news video showed.

Other impacts from the storm include rip currents and tornadoes.

The storm system could move slowly through Upstate; if so, that would increase the chances of heavy rain.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued a state of emergency on Saturday for all 67 counties in his state.

Subtropical Storm Alberto headed toward anticipated landfall sometime Monday on the northern Gulf Coast, where white sandy beaches emptied of their usual Memorial Day crowds.

Florida, Alabama and MS declared states of emergency on Saturday as the storm threatened up to 12 inches of rain over the Memorial Day weekend and tidal surges and damaging winds, according to Patrick Burke of the weather service's Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

Subtropical storm Alberto, the first named storm of the season, is expected to spread tropical storm conditions along the west coast of Florida Sunday.

Heavy rains were expected across Florida and in parts of Alabama and Georgia.

It also triggered mandatory evacuations of some small, sparsely populated Gulf Coast barrier islands in one Florida county. Myers, Florida. By Monday morning, Alberto had produced sustained winds up to 65 miles per hour.

Alberto formed several days ahead of the official start of the six-month Atlantic hurricane season on June 1. As it travels up the warm waters of the Gulf, it could well become a full tropical storm. He said Alberto's biggest threat will be its heavy rains, with forecasts of anywhere from 4 to 12 inches of rain in some areas. A more destructive storm could develop over the next 48 hours. "So how often can you say you rode a storm out?" Franklin, Gulf, Bay and Walton counties will be hardest hit by early afternoon as the center of Subtropical Storm Alberto begins to approach. Inland areas would likely experience winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour from Sunday night through Monday afternoon.

Florida, Alabama and MS declared states of emergency on Saturday with up to 15 inches (38 cm) of rain forecast over the Memorial Day weekend, as well as tidal surges and damaging winds, according to Patrick Burke of the weather service's Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

US National Weather Service (NWS ) on Sunday released warnings that people living along coastal regions in Florida, Alabama and MS should "take this storm seriously", as up to a foot of rain is expected to flood low lying areas alongside high winds over the popular holiday weekend.

Heavy rain has already fallen in southern states, and flood and flash-flood watches span the region, reaching as far north as North Carolina and Tennessee, the National Weather Service said.

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