Storm Alberto closes in on Florida, Alabama and Mississippi

Storm Alberto closes in on Florida, Alabama and Mississippi

Meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Miami said the flood watch - which was supposed to end Sunday night - will bring "gusty winds, isolated tornadoes with hazardous marine conditions" through Monday afternoon, bringing the soggy holiday weekend to a close. Tropical storm warnings have been issued for parts of Florida and Alabama, saying tropical storm conditions are possible there by early Monday.

It also maintains a storm surge watch along the US Gulf coast from Crystal River in western Florida to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

Cuba is expected to get as much as 15 inches of rain, the hurricane center said in an advisory Saturday morning, and the Florida Keys and South Florida could get as much as 10 inches.

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.

Winds along the coast are forecast to be around 40 to 50 miles per hour. In the meantime, Alberto will likely make landfall in Northwest Florida, around Destin, then move north during the day Tuesday.

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Subtropical Storm Alberto is expected to hit the panhandle of Florida Monday afternoon while bringing the threat for heavy rain, gusty winds, and risky storm surge for those areas. The storm prompted Florida, Alabama and MS to launch emergency preparations over the weekend amid expectations Alberto would reach land sometime Monday. Still that means the path of the storm will still reach landfall somewhere between Apalachicola, Panama City and Pensacola just before daybreak on Monday. Winds of 40 mph extend outward from the center of the storm up to 150 miles. Heavier bands of rain and the potential for a few severe storms on Wednesday is also possible.

An official from the National Weather Service warns that even after Subtropical Storm Alberto passes, there's still a risk for rip currents.

Storms in the Gulf are closely watched because 5 percent of US natural gas and 17 percent of crude-oil production comes out of the region, according to the Energy Information Administration. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expects this season to be "near- or above-normal". The Florida Division of Emergency Management said in a statement Sunday that a mandatory evacuation has been issued in Franklin County for all barrier islands there and those in the county living directly on the coast in mobile homes or in recreation vehicle parks.

Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency for the area rebuilding from a devastating flood about two years ago that killed two people and damaged dozens of buildings.

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