Monday, June 18, 2018

Alberto begins to dissipate, leaving deaths, flooding behind

Remnants of the first named storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season are pushing into Canada, but Alberto's heavy rains have drenched the Southern Appalachians, claiming lives in raging flash floods, triggering mudslides and washing away bridges.

Since its Memorial Day landfall in the Florida Panhandle, Alberto's heavy rains have been widespread, with flooding reported from Alabama through Tennessee, Kentucky, the Carolinas, West Virginia and Illinois.

In Virginia, flash flooding blamed on Alberto turned a peaceful creek into a roaring death trap as witnesses reported a man and woman were swept away when their car was washed off a road Wednesday night. Police say searchers found one of the victims Thursday and would resume searching Friday for the other still missing.

"The streams are overflowing right now. Everything's at full capacity, if not more," said Albemarle County Fire Rescue Chief Dan Eggleston, speaking at a news conference Thursday. He said he feared any additional rain would just make creeks and streams swell again.

Rescue crews are to continue searching Friday in and around Ivy Creek in Virginia's Albemarle County, where a day earlier they found the body of one of two occupants of a Toyota Prius engulfed by the floodwaters. Farther north in Virginia's Madison County, sheriff's officials said rescuers are seeking a female reported missing in high waters there.

"Ivy Creek is normally a very docile creek," Eggleston said. But he added it only took a downpour of 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 centimeters) of rain before Ivy Creek "turned into a swollen, raging river."

Emergency responders also carried out at least 10 other water rescues and received reports of damage to homes, the extent of which wasn't immediately clear, Eggleston said.

Throughout the stricken region, authorities posted photos of washed-out roads and bridges, and they warned people to avoid unnecessary travel. One photo posted by the city of Charlottesville showed a playground partially submerged by floodwaters.

The Carolinas also were dealing with problems of their own from Alberto, which took enormous amounts of moisture aloft from the Gulf of Mexico and dumped it on the region from rain bands stretching for hundreds of miles (kilometers).

In the North Carolina mountain town of Boone, one of those mudslides was blamed for a gas leak and explosion that destroyed a home Wednesday afternoon, killing two people.

Four North Carolina dams being closely watched by a state team of special engineers were holding up, Gov. Roy Cooper said at midweek. But Cooper went ahead and declared a state of emergency for his hard-hit mountain counties, saying the forecast for the rest of the week calls for isolated heavy rain storms that could instantly cause flooding in areas that have had 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rain in the past 15 days.

"This storm isn't yet over. I'm urging people to keep a close eye on forecasts," Cooper said.

Two deaths had previously been reported in the U.S. during the storm's passage. A television news anchor and a photojournalist were killed Monday in North Carolina while covering the weather, when a tree became uprooted from rain-soaked ground and toppled onto their SUV, authorities said. WYFF-TV of Greenville, South Carolina, said news anchor Mike McCormick and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer died.

Authorities in Cuba say Alberto left four people dead there as the storm drenched the island in heavy rain.

___

Collins reported from Columbia, South Carolina. Sarah Rankin reported from Richmond, Virginia.

Comments
Lightning re-signs goaltender Eddie Pasquale to two-way deal

Lightning re-signs goaltender Eddie Pasquale to two-way deal

The Lightning re-signed goaltender Eddie Pasquale to a one-year, two-way contract general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.Pasquale, 27, split this past season between the Syracuse Crunch and Bakersfield Condors of the American Hockey League. He...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays drop three of four in New York

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays drop three of four in New York

The Rays lose three of four games in New York as Rick Stroud says they fail to figure out the Yankees' pitching. With Christian Arroyo injured, they activate Adeiny Hechavarria — one of the stars of Sunday's win — from the disabled list a...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida authorities identify remains of man missing 3 years found under backyard concrete slab

Florida authorities identify remains of man missing 3 years found under backyard concrete slab

TAVARES — Florida authorities say they’ve identified the man whose remains were found under a concrete slab in his wife’s backyard.Lake County sheriff’s deputies announced Friday that the remains are those of Michael Shaver, who hadn’t been seen in t...
Updated: 1 hour ago

AP Top News at 10:08 a.m. EDT

AP Top News at 10:08 a.m. EDT
Updated: 1 hour ago
Family separation policy starts dividing Republicans

Family separation policy starts dividing Republicans

The emotional policy of separating children from their parents is also starting to divide Republicans
Updated: 1 hour ago
Builder optimism fades in June

Builder optimism fades in June

U.S. homebuilders lower confidence about sales prospects on lumber cost, tariff concerns
Updated: 1 hour ago

Van crashes into fans at Dutch festival: 1 dead, 3 injured

Suspect charged after van runs into music fans who attended the Pinkpop festival in the Netherlands, killing one and injuring three
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Latest: FIFA probes Mexico over fans' anti-gay slur

The Latest: FIFA probes Mexico over fans' anti-gay slur

FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Mexico after its fans shouted an anti-gay slur in Sunday's 1-0 win over Germany in Moscow
Updated: 1 hour ago
Developer Grady Pridgen buys St. Pete’s shuttered Edward White Hospital

Developer Grady Pridgen buys St. Pete’s shuttered Edward White Hospital

ST. PETERSBURG — Edward White Hospital, closed four years ago because of declining revenues, has been sold to developer Grady Pridgen for $2.7 million.Pridgen is the second developer to see potential in the hospital site at the 2300 block of 9th Aven...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Trump adviser Roger Stone reveals new meeting with Russian

Trump adviser Roger Stone reveals new meeting with Russian

Special counsel examining a previously undisclosed meeting between longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone and a Russian figure who claimed to have dirty information on Hillary Clinton
Updated: 1 hour ago