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Alberto threatens Gulf Coast

Posted at 1:05 AM, May 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-27 21:10:45-04

(WTXL) - Florida leaders and residents state-wide are getting ready for Alberto to make landfall.

This Memorial Day weekend many people spent time filling sandbags and preparing for floods expected from Alberto.

Those preparing in communities along the Gulf Coast include Satasota resident Katressa Wilson. "I'm just preparing just in case," she said. "I'm a first time homeowner so I'm not sure what to expect..."

It's the first named storm of the year, and it comes days before the 2018 hurricane season officially begins.

Three states have already declared a state of emergency.

Mississippi, Alabama and Florida are ready to take action if and when the storm makes landfall.

Gov. Rick Scott of Florida: "Hopefully we won't have landfall in this state, but get ready. We live in a penninsula state. The nice thing is I think people are getting prepared and we've got to continue to do that everyday."=

Alberto is on track to slam the Florida Panhandle late Sunday or early Monday.

Heavy rain is expected throughout the Gulf Coast and southeast.

Officials are already taking steps to mitigate the impact of flooding.

John M. Course, director of the Broward County-Water Management: "Before the storm like in the period we are in right now, we let water out of the system to allow more room from the runoff from the storm to come in."

As the storm strengthens over warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico, officials are warning residents and Memorial Day vacationers of the potentially dangerous conditions.

Dave Greenwood, the Escambia County Water Safety Chief: "You have to use caution because nature can sometimes be dangerous and if you're not familiar with it, your very, very happy holiday can all of a sudden go from extreme joy to extreme sadness."