Deaths reported as Alberto makes landfall in Florida

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Janet Rhumes said her group of friends from Kansas had been planning their Memorial Day weekend on Navarre Beach since October, and no tropical storm could deter them. This is not a widespread outbreak, just one or two are possible as Alberto moves closer.

The National Hurricane Center projects 4 to 8 inches of rain with isolated amounts up to a foot into the Florida Panhandle and much of Alabama and western Georgia.

It will bring heavy rain and winds of 80km/h (50mph) across southern states, the US National Hurricane Center said. The U.S. Golf Association canceled a practice round of the U.S. Women's Open Championship, being played at Shoal Creek, because of the weather and Alabama Power Co. said about 20,000 homes and businesses were without electricity Tuesday, most in the Birmingham area. While he says some people are wading along the water's edge, others are taking refuge in bars and restaurants.

Slowly strengthening Subtropical Storm Alberto could cause more than $1 billion in economic losses to the U.S. Gulf Coast as it tracks north, bringing a growing threat of floods, but it's had little impact on offshore energy production. Winds are forecast to reach 60 mph 12 hours and it should be over land in the Florida Panhandle in 24 hours.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for a stretch of coastline between Florida's Suwannee River and the Alabama-Florida border. Landfall was expected later Monday.

"Heavy rains and gusty winds continue to spread northward over Florida", it tweeted.

While the storm has not strengthened into a hurricane, it does threaten residents and vacationers across the US Southeast.

Maximum sustained winds were clocked at 65 miles per hour (100 kph). The storm that sprang from warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico was now a vast, soggy system as it headed inland, dumping heavy rains in bursts all around the region. Warnings about storm surges and high surf were aired along the coast on either side of Apalachicola on Monday. Destin and Panama City Beach are within the watch area.

Sea turtle nest monitors with the Clearwater Marine Aquarium return in the rain from north end of Clearwater Beach as rain falls on the beach early Sunday morning 5/27/2018 as northbound Subtropical Storm Alberto looms in the gulf to the southwest.

The storm is the first storm of this year's hurricane season, coming a few day before the season officially starts on June 1.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released the annual hurricane season forecast Thursday in which they call for 10 to 16 named storms, with five to nine hurricanes.

Florida, Mississippi and Alabama which are the three main states which are bearing the brunt of the storm all declared states of emergency ahead of Alberto.

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