Florida Gov. Rick Scott Declares State of Emergency As 'Severe' Weather Nears

Source U.S. National Hurricane Center

Cantrell and Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni reminded motorists not to drive on flooded streets and asked residents to help reduce the chance of flooding by clearing debris from streets and drains around their property when it is safe to do so. 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.

Rainfall totals could reach 15 inches in spots, the National Hurricane Center said Saturday, with widespread areas seeing 5 to 10 inches. Clusters of thunderstorms with heavy rain are now aiming at the western two-thirds of Cuba, and making for a wet South Florida. Swelling riverbanks, tornadoes and localized flooding are possible.

At 11 a.m. PDT on Friday, Alberto was 60 miles south of Cozumel, Mexico, with sustained winds of 40 mph, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

Alberto was still a minimal tropical storm as of Saturday with winds of 40 miles per hour. It's expected to gradually strengthen over the next three days as it begins to move to the north. Our weather Memorial Day and Tuesday will depend on the eventual track and strength of the storm. The official National Hurricane Center forecast released Thursday said the season is likely to be near or above normal.

Parts of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana have already seen heavy rain this week, and further deluges could leave those areas vulnerable to flash flooding and river flooding.

Nick Ellis III and his father Nick Ellis II picked up their sandbags Saturday and gave Manatee County workers a hand by picking up shovels and filling their own bags.

Memorial Day is the traditional beginning of beach season, but the weather service issued warnings about risky currents along the Gulf Coast during the holiday period. Along with heavy rains and high winds come rough seas and a threat of rip currents from Florida to Louisiana that can sweep swimmers out to sea.

The chance of rain in Beaufort County is 20 percent Saturday but is predicted to increase to 70 percent on Sunday and 80 percent on Monday, according to the National Weather Service in Charleston.

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