The National Hurricane Center in Miami said at 2 a.m. EDT Monday that Alberto was maintaining its strength as it approached the Florida panhandle and was centered about 115 miles south-southwest of Panama City.
Severe Subtropical Storm Alberto "has the same impacts as a tropical storm", Kottlowski noted, adding, "that includes tropical-storm-force winds of 39-55 miles per hour, a storm surge potential, heavy rain and the potential for isolated tornadoes".
"Two journalists working to keep the public informed about this storm have tragically lost their lives, and we mourn with their families, friends and colleagues", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement.
McCormick and Smeltzer had just interviewed Tryon Fire Chief Geoffrey Tennant as they covered storms in North Carolina.
Elsewhere, the North Carolina Highway Patrol said, a large tree toppled on a news television vehicle Monday near Tryon, North Carolina. The storm prompted Florida, Alabama and MS to launch emergency preparations over the weekend. "Strong squalls off and on" had kept her inside, she said.
Heavy rainfall and flash flooding were occurring over parts of the Florida Panhandle into Alabama into Monday evening.
Subtropical Storm Alberto gained the early jump on the 2018 hurricane season as it headed toward anticipated landfall sometime Monday on the northern Gulf Coast, where white sandy beaches emptied of their usual Memorial Day crowds.
The emergency declarations free up state resources to respond to the storm if necessary.
Florida Governor Rick Scott issued the declaration for all 67 counties in his state.
Florida, Alabama and MS declare states of emergency; Jonathan Serrie reports from Florida.
Alberto has had quite the circuitous route of a sub-tropical storm.it was quite hard defining the center (s) at the start.and then what steered the system wound up also being a hybrid forecast.
Between 2 and 6 inches of rain could soak Alabama and western Georgia on Tuesday, and isolated deluges of 12 inches also are possible as the system heads into the Tennessee Valley on its way to the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes region. The Florida Keys and Florida peninsula could receive up to 5 inches of rain in some areas. According to the National Weather Service, some areas along Florida's west coast were forecast to get as much as 1-4 inches of rain. "Mainly dry with partly to mostly sunny skies, but a few brief showers and perhaps an isolated t-storm possible this afternoon" southeastern MA and parts of CT and Rhode Island. And in the Tampa Bay area on the central Gulf Coast, cities offered sandbags for homeowners anxious about floods.
The rain chances continue into Thursday, with afternoon showers and storms. Over the few days, localized flash flooding from heavy rain is the main threat across the Southeastern U.S.
Stay dry and stay safe!
Additionally, NOAA predicted there would be anywhere from five to nine hurricanes and one to four major hurricanes before the season's end in November.
Governors in Florida, Mississippi and Alabama on Saturday declared states of emergency.
Last year, a number of deadly hurricanes hit the USA and Caribbean.
If that forecast holds, it would make for a near-normal or above-normal season.