Thousands evacuate as Alberto bears down on northern Gulf Coast

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Though the center of the storm is expected to pass west of our local area, North Florida and South Georgia will still have to deal with some rain.

Alberto will likely make landfall late Monday or early Tuesday somewhere between Western Florida and Coastal Louisiana.

Subtropical storm Alberto's course shifted slightly westward as it approached the Gulf Coast on Sunday. Strong onshore winds may bring higher than normal water levels along the coast which could create coastal flooding. He said Alberto's biggest threat will be its heavy rains, with forecasts of anywhere from four to 12 inches (10-30 centimeters) of rain in some areas. And, it said, heavy rains are also expected in many areas.

Combined with the above average rainfall we've already seen so far this spring, additional rain could create flooding issues in the upcoming week along area rivers.

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The National Hurricane Center in Miami issued tropical storm warnings for parts of Florida and Alabama, saying tropical storm conditions are possible there by Sunday night.

Florida governor Rick Scott also declared a state of emergency for all 67 counties Saturday morning to 'prepare for the torrential rain and severe flooding this storm will bring'.

Off the East Coast, there is a potential for high winds and wave heights as Alberto rolls through. By Monday night, it might be a little bit drier, with the chance of rain dropping to 60 percent, according to the National Weather Service in Miami. As of the 5 PM advisory from the National Hurricane Center, the center of Alberto is roughly 120 miles south of Apalachicola. A tropical storm warning was discontinued from Florida's Anclote River to the Suwannee River.

Jeffrey Medlin, meteorologist in charge in Mobile, says even after the storm moves north there will still be swells coming up from the south.

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On Sunday morning, the storm was located about 210 km west-southwest of Tampa, Florida, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Forecasters are expecting the strongest winds, which could be from 20-25 miles per hour with higher gusts, to be confined to areas along and south of I-85 on Monday night.

Authorities say conditions are especially risky with flooding rains coming overnight and on a holiday weekend when many people have outdoor plans. This will take place as Alberto nears landfall between the Alabama and Western Florida panhandle coasts.

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