Alberto moves to nation's interior, few major problems reported


Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, ALA.

The soggy remnants of Alberto moved toward the nation’s interior Tuesday, leaving scattered flooding and downed trees in the wake of the year’s first named tropical storm.

More than 25,000 power outages were reported in Alabama, many caused by trees rooted in soggy soil falling across utility lines.

But while forecasters said the subtropical depression could dump as much as 6 inches of rain inland, few major problems were reported so far.

“We’ve had a lot of rain, but we got lucky. It was a constant rain but not a heavy rain,” said Regina Myers, emergency management director in Walker County northwest of Birmingham.

Subtropical storm Alberto rolled ashore Monday afternoon in the Florida Panhandle and then weakened overnight to a depression. Beachcombers had returned to the white sands of the Northern Gulf by Tuesday morning, but forecasters still warned of dangerous currents.

In Cuba, flooding damaged an oil refinery and caused crude oil to spill into Cienfuegos Bay as the remnants of Alberto continued to drench the island in heavy rain.

U.S. forecasters said rain could still cause dangerous flash floods in the coming days in northern Alabama and large areas of Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas.

In North Carolina, a television news anchor and a photojournalist were killed Monday while covering the weather, when a tree became uprooted from rain-soaked ground and toppled onto their SUV, authorities said.

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