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Mississippi prepares for Tropical Storm “Alberto”

Tropical Strom Alberto. Courtesy of NWS

An approaching tropical storm has been named “Alberto” by the National Weather Service, and it could bring heavy rainfall and potential flooding to areas across Mississippi.

The National Weather Service radar shows that the storm is a slow-moving system, and it will reach the Mississippi Gulf Coast toward the end of this weekend, and extend through Tuesday/Wednesday of next week.

Tropical Storm Alberto

Greg Flynn with MEMA says the rainfall continues to be the main concern. Certain areas on the coast and up through south and central Mississippi may see flash floods as the storm moves through the state.

“There are some areas that could see 10-15 inches of rain, it’s certainly possible. If you’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time, those rain bands will set up over you, and you could see an isolated amount that high.”

Even though the storm is moving slow, Flynn noted that it is important to be prepared ahead of time. While the Coast may be a travel destination for many on this Memorial Day weekend, those plans may need to be altered.

“Make sure you have a plan to be ready to move as soon as the water comes up,” he said. “I know it is a holiday weekend but take that into account depending upon where you’re going. If you’re thinking about going down to the Gulf Coast for Memorial Day, that’s probably not the best idea right now, whether that be from the panhandle of Florida through Alabama or the Mississippi Gulf Coast…better to be safe than sorry.”

Thankfully, the storm will not reach hurricane wind speeds, but MEMA warns that winds still may reach 40-50 MPH. The storm will be a tropical storm when it hits, but it will downgrade to a tropical depression shortly after reaching land.

Because the threat of severe weather remains, Flynn recommends preparing your emergency supply kit which includes bottled water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, batteries and other items.

“Any item that you will need to sustain yourself for at least three days without electricity,” he noted. “We always play a worst-case scenario and say, ‘if you’re without power for 3-5 days, do you have what it takes to sustain on your own?’ This includes not being able to go to a gas station or a grocery store, so the more self-reliant you can be, and the more supplies you can stock up in your house, the better of you’ll be.”

For those on the Coast where the storm will be at its highest intensity, MEMA released a full list of sand bag pick-up locations.

MEMA continues to remind Mississippians to have a plan for flash-flooding and hurricanes to reduce the risk of injury or death.

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