Alabama, Mississippi Join Florida In States Of Emergency Ahead Of Tropical Storm Alberto

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Alabama and Mississippi declared states of emergency Saturday ahead of landfall by Tropical Storm Alberto, Reuters reported.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared his own state in emergency earlier Saturday because of the storm gaining strength in the Gulf of Mexico. (RELATED: Gov Scott Declares State Of Emergency As Alberto Barrels Toward The Gulf Coast)

“There is still uncertainty of where landfall will occur, which will likely be late Monday or early Tuesday morning,” Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director Brian E. Hastings said in a statement Saturday. “Regardless of the final track and intensity of Alberto, we know it will produce heavy rainfall and flash flooding in several counties, and the time to prepare is now.”

Alberto is gaining strength from warmer-than-normal ocean water below, though the likelihood the storm achieves category 1 hurricane level winds before making landfall is slim, The Weather Channel reported.

“Whether you’re a resident of this state or just visiting, you need to stay updated on this evolving tropical system,” Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said, according to Reuters. “I ask everyone to please make final preparations to your family emergency plan, especially those that live in mobile homes and low-lying areas.”

Alberto has been recognized as the first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season, though the season officially begins June 1. The upcoming season is likely to be “near- or above-normal,” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts. (RELATED: Here’s What You Absolutely Need To Know For Hurricane Season)

Last hurricane season caused more than $200 billion worth of damage and ravaged the island of Puerto Rico, which has been the center of hurricane recovery operations for eight months. Emergency crews have been on the island, cleaning up and restoring power to residents since Hurricane Maria hit Sept. 20, 2017.

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