Alberto could cost Gulf Coast $1 billion

Katie Ramirez
May 31, 2018

Overnight, Subtropical Storm Alberto approaching the Florida panhandle slowed down to half its speed but didn't lose any of its strength, according to the National Hurricane Center.

While Alberto nears the shore, the warning area has been scaled back from the Suwannee River back west to the Florida-Alabama state line.

The storm's maximum sustained winds had reached 65 miles per hour Sunday night - but although it lost strength, National Hurricane Center meteorologist David Zelinsky told NPR there was no reason to relax.

Forecasters had feared the storm could bring risky high water to southern coastal states and possible tornadoes.

Strong storms possible Thursday and Friday: As Alberto moves away, a different type of summertime weather pattern kicks in; that could deliver some intense summertime storms on Thursday and Friday.

Forecasters say heavy rains from Subtropical Storm Alberto could cause flooding across most of SC.

"Alberto will make landfall as a subtropical storm", reported AccuWeather spokesman and hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski. Parts of Florida, Georgia and Alabama could get from 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) with some areas receiving as much as a foot of rain.

Combined with the above average rainfall we've already seen so far this spring, additional rain could create flooding issues in the upcoming week along area rivers.

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Shortly before 5 p.m. ET, Alberto was moving north at near 9 miles per hour, the NHC said.

After moving on shore, the center of Alberto will probably move into northern Alabama by Tuesday.

In its wake, the large system caused more than 25,000 power outages in Alabama on Tuesday, a day after making landfall on the Florida Panhandle. "This is definitely a unsafe storm", said David Roth, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland. "Hazardous storm surge is possible along portions of the central and eastern Gulf Coast beginning Sunday".

Shell plans to restore production at its Ram Powell Hub in the Viosca Knoll area of the Gulf as it soon as the platform can be operated safely, the company said in a statement.

Alberto formed 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.

Subtropical Storm Alberto's gusty rain and brisk winds roiled the seas off the U.S. Gulf Coast on Monday, keeping white sandy beaches emptied of their usual Memorial Day crowds.

In Cuba, flooding damaged an oil refinery and caused crude oil to spill into Cienfuegos Bay as the remnants of Alberto continued to drench the island in heavy rain. No severe weather is expected, but heavy rain and thunderstorms are possible.

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