Flash flood watch in effect for Upstate, WNC, northeast Ga

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Forecasters are also warning people in those same areas and in southern SC of the possibility that "brief tornadoes" could develop as Alberto moves further inland.

Flash flooding could take place in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia and the Carolinas through Tuesday morning, according to forecasts.

Near hurricane-force winds from Alberto dropped to about 30 miles per hour (48 km per hour) as it lost strength while crossing the Gulf of Mexico and making landfall in the U.S. South, the National Weather Service said. Landfall was expected later Monday.

The first named storm of the season, Subtropical Storm Alberto, came ashore Monday along the Florida Panhandle, bringing heavy rain to a wide swath of the Southeast and claiming the lives of two journalists on duty in North Carolina.

Subtropical Storm Alberto weakened as it made landfall on the Florida Panhandle on Monday, a day after flooding from another storm tore through a historic Maryland town and swept away a would-be rescuer, officials said.

Thousands have been evacuated from the coast of Florida as the region braces for subtropical storm Alberto. A tropical storm warning was discontinued from Florida's Anclote River to the Suwannee River.

Alberto also was expected to impact Cuba, with an additional 5 to 10 inches of rain projected to hit Central Cuba, forecasters said, with isolated storm totals of 20 to 25 inches of rain. The Florida Keys were likely to get several inches of rain.

They had just interviewed Tryon Fire Chief Geoffrey Tennant as they covered storms in North Carolina.

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Lifeguards posted red flags along the white sands of Pensacola Beach, where swimming and wading were banned.

Flash Flood Watches are out for Campbell County in East Tennessee and all of the counties to the west of ours in Kentucky until tomorrow morning.

Florida, Alabama and MS declare states of emergency ahead of the first named storm of the hurricane season.

Forecasters said Alberto could bring unsafe high water to southern coastal states when it douses an area from MS to western Georgia with up to 12 inches (30 cm) of rain and possible tornadoes.

Along the Florida Panhandle, tourists vowed Alberto wouldn't dampen their vacations.

Winds will also increase in speed throughout the day Monday. "So how often can you say you rode a storm out?" "We're going to see that pretty much all day", she said. Warnings about storm surges and high surf were aired along the coast on either side of Apalachicola on Monday.

Alberto made a Memorial Day landfall near Laguna Beach, Fla, just west of Panama City, andofficials warned of risky conditions even though its maximum sustained winds fell to 45 miles per hour.

If that forecast holds, it would make for a near-normal or above-normal season.

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