Updated: 5/29/2018 12:06:28 PM
Two television journalists working for NBC affiliate WYFF of Greenville, South Carolina - anchor Mike McCormick and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer - were killed in North Carolina's Polk County on May 28 after a tree fell on their vehicle while driving on U.S. Highway 176 near Tryon.
The journalists were covering flooding and severe weather associated with Subtropical Storm "Alberto" and had just interviewed Tryon Fire Chief Geoffrey Tennant. They told Tennant to be careful with Alberto’s remnant expected to bring more heavy rains and mudslides this week. He told them to be careful too, the AP reported.
Updated: 5/27/2018 7:31:17 AM
Florida has declared a state of emergency for all its 67 counties as the state continues to monitor and prepare for Subtropical Storm "Alberto." The cyclone has since formed a new eye and is now located over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. Bands of heavy rainfall are already affecting western Cuba and southern Florida.
The declaration is ensuring the state and local government has ample time, resources and flexibility to get prepared for this storm.
Published Sunday, May 27, 2018
Subtropical Storm "Alberto" formed in the Gulf of Mexico on May 25, 2018 as the first named storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season. Alberto is expected to slowly move toward the Gulf Coast producing widespread heavy rain. This storm can produce major flash and river flooding across the Yucatan Peninsula, Cuba, Florida and Gulf Coast.
Pre-season Subtropical Storm "Alberto" formed on May 25 with its center located 90 km S of Cozumel, Mexico and 315 km SW of the western tip of Cuba.
The Government of Mexico has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula from Tulum to Cabo Catoche and the Government of Cuba for the western Cuban province of Pinar del Rio.
"The storm has been nearly stationary during the past several hours," Stacy Stewart, a senior hurricane specialist at NOAA’s National Hurricane Center in Miami noted.
However, a general slow motion toward the north is expected through the weekend, followed by a northeast turn by Monday, May 28.
On the forecast track, Alberto is expected to pass near the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula tonight, be near the western tip of Cuba Saturday morning, emerge over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by Saturday night, and approach the north-central Gulf Coast on Monday.
This storm is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 254 to 381 mm with isolated totals of 635 mm across the northeastern portions of the Yucatan Peninsula and western Cuba. These rains could produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.
Rainfall accumulations of 102 to 204 mm with maximum amounts of 305 mm are possible across the Florida Keys and southern and southwestern Florida. Heavy rain will likely begin to affect the central Gulf Coast region and the southeastern United States later this weekend and continue into early next week.
Flooding potential will increase across this region early next week as Alberto is forecast to slow down after it moves inland.
Swells generated by Alberto are already affecting portions of the coast of eastern Yucatan Peninsula and western Cuba. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
Tropical Storm Alberto Facts
Affected Area: 1 km.
Alert Level: Yellow