Thousands of Florida residents evacuated their homes on Sunday as the subtropical Alberto storm intensified. It is now heading north into the Gulf of Mexico, and is expected to touch land sometime Monday, according to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC).
According to forecasts, Alberto could cause major floods that could endanger the lives of residents in coastal states in the south of the country.
Franklin County, West Florida, has issued a mandatory evacuation notice for 4,200 residences on the barrier islands of the Gulf of Mexico.
In Taylor County, a voluntary evacuation notice was issued for coastal areas.
Florida, like Mississippi and Alabama, declared a state of emergency earlier in the day. Florida Governor Rick Scott said 5500 State National Guard agents were ready to deploy on the ground.
“If evacuation notices have been announced in your community, do not ignore them,” Scott told his Twitter account.
At 8 pm EDT Sunday, the storm was about 165 kilometers south of Apalachicola, Florida.
The National Weather Service warned on Sunday against the flash floods that could occur throughout the area between Mississippi and North Carolina, where millions of people reside.
The first storm of the hurricane season this year, Alberto comes with winds that can reach 105 km / h and up to 30 cm of rain in places, especially in the area between Mississippi and western Georgia, according to National Hurricane Center.
Strong winds and heavy rain are expected Monday. The storm is expected to move into the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday and Wednesday.
In Mississippi, locals line up to fill sandbags to limit flood damage.
Whether you are a Mississippi citizen or just a tourist, you need to keep up-to-date on this evolving tropical system. I ask everyone to finalize the preparations for your family emergency evacuation plan, especially those living in mobile homes and in flood-prone areas.
Phil Bryant, Governor of Mississippi
Several popular beaches in the Gulf, including Baldwin County, Alabama and northwestern Florida, could be hit by waves up to 5.5 meters.
Alberto is already causing heavy rains in western Cuba and could trigger landslides in the country, according to the US National Hurricane Center.
The storm is expected to dampen the unofficial start of the US tourist season, generally triggered by Memorial Day, on the last Monday in May.
Andrew Haglin was born and raised in Ohio. Andrew has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade having contributed to several large publications including the BBC World and CNET. As a journalist for Cleveland Post Gazette, Andrew covers state news and human interest stories.