Subtropical Storm Alberto: Florida governor declares state of emergency ahead of storm

Path of Subtropical Storm Alberto as of Saturday, May 26, 2018 (National Hurricane Center)

Earliest reasonable arrival time of tropical storm (National Hurricane Center)

FLORIDA — Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for Florida ahead of Subtropical Storm Alberto.

Gov. Scott said it is important for all residents to keep safe and prepare for rain and flooding.

“As we continue to monitor Subtropical Storm Alberto’s northward path toward Florida, it is critically important that all Florida counties have every available resource to keep families safe and prepare for the torrential rain and severe flooding this storm will bring. Today, I have declared a state of emergency in all 67 Florida counties to make sure that our state and local governments are able to coordinate with federal partners to get the resources they need. Yesterday, I directed the State Emergency Operations Center activate to Level 2 and I will continue to be in constant communication with state and local emergency management officials as this storm approaches Florida.

“If any Florida family doesn’t have an emergency preparedness plan, now is the time to act. Remember, the track of these storms can change without notice. Do not think that only areas in the cone will be impacted – everyone in our state must be prepared. I encourage every Floridian to visit FloridaDisaster.org and get your plan before this storm hits so you can keep your family safe. We will continue to provide updates to Florida’s residents and visitors and do everything to prepare for and respond to this storm,” he said in a statement.

The storm moves slowly through the Caribbean Sea is threatening to bring heavy rainfall, mudslides, and flash floods to parts of Mexico, Cuba, Florida and the U.S. Gulf Coast this weekend.

Subtropical Storm Alberto — the first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season — was roiling parts of coastal Mexico and Cuba with rip currents and dangerous surf on Saturday. Both countries issued tropical storm watches for portions of their coastlines, with rain totals in some isolated areas of up to 25 inches.

U.S. forecasters followed suit by issuing a tropical storm watch for parts of the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle southwest of Tallahassee to the New Orleans metropolitan area.

Associated Press contributed to this report.