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Two killed when Alberto lands on Florida Panhandle



Alberto maintained his strength and was located about 15 miles west-northwest of Panama City, Florida, at 17:00. ET update from the National Hurricane Center, or NHC, in Miami. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, which had been somewhat weakened since the morning.

Forecasters warned of life-threatening surfing conditions and the possibility of a few short tornadoes across much of Florida and parts of Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama. Heavy rains were also expected, providing the coastal residents with a taste of what predictors had recently predicted for an active hurricane season.

"Given the short period before Alberto landed, his ragged appearance and proximity to dry air, a small change in strength is expected before the subtropical storm reaches the coast," said John Cangialosi, a NHC hurricane specialist ,

In Cuba, where Albertos' outer bands tipped over one foot of rain overnight and flooded rivers and reservoirs ̵

1; According to state television and Cuba's National Meteorological Institute, the storm-protected railroad, an oil refinery and parts of the country's national highway.

Around 20,000 people were evacuated across the island.

Alberto arrives at the same time as a separate storm system that over the weekend enveloped the Central Atlantic Ocean and flooded the township of Ellicott City, Maryland, which was flooded by a passing river 17 feet in just two hours.

Over the Gulf Coast, residents were ready for their own misery. Lifeguards posted red flags along the white sands of Pensacola Beach, Florida, where swimming and wading were prohibited in high surf and dangerous conditions.

The resident of Panama City, Jo Newton, said she was filling in sandbags to keep the water out of my front door. "

" I'm really scared of the amount of rain that's being predicted, "she said.

The slow Alberto Meteorologists say the Tennessee Valley and the Carolinas could range from 2 to 6 inches in the region

The recent heavy rains in the southeast could worsen the floods in some areas of Florida and the Carolinas, where the ground is saturated

The approach of the storm triggered compulsory evacuations from a few sparsely populated Gulf Coast barrier islands in Florida's Franklin County. Florida Governor Rick Scott said Sunday that such storms are "unpredictable," but he seemed to be preparing for the worst.

On Saturday, he declared a state of emergency in 67 countries and more than 5,000 members of the National Guard were ready for action.


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