Alberto swings west, but flash flooding potential remains

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The soggy remnants of Alberto are spreading rain deeper into the nation's midsection after downing trees, after triggering power outages and scattered flooding around the South.

As the first named storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, Subtropical Storm Alberto lumbered ashore Monday afternoon in the Florida Panhandle and then weakened overnight to a depression.

From early afternoon Monday through 7 a.m. Tuesday, the National Weather Service instruments at Raleigh-Durham International Airport had recorded 0.86 inches of rain. Flash flood watches were in effort for parts of several states from Alabama through Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, the Carolinas and Virginia and West Virginia.

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Among other things, it has left 25,000 people in Alabama without power. "North Carolina needs to take Alberto seriously", Cooper said in a news release.

In Polk County, North Carolina, news anchor Mike McCormick and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer, of Greenville, South Carolina-based CNN affiliate WYFF, were killed Monday when a tree fell on their SUV as they covered the hazardous weather, the station said.

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. Showers are possible through the night and Wednesday morning.

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Hermond was swept up as he tried to help a shop owner who had escaped flood waters with her cat, police said. There was not a lot of erosion.

Karen Clark & Co, a risk-modeling firm, on Tuesday estimated the insured losses from Alberto at $50 million.

Locations alone the Blue Ridge will have the highest rainfall amounts, however most everyone in the High Country should expect to get another inch or two of rain on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Tennant said the roots of the large tree tore loose from ground saturated by a week's worth of rain.