Storm may land next week

Published 2:00 pm Friday, May 25, 2018

Hurricane forecasters said Friday that Subtropical Storm Alberto could bring heavy rain through much of the Gulf Coast during the Memorial Day weekend.

As of Friday afternoon, the storm system was traveling through the northwestern Caribbean Sea just east of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Forecaster models suggested that the storm could approach the Gulf Coast on Monday.

As of 1 p.m. Friday, the storm’s maximum sustained winds were about 40 mph, but the storm is expected to strengthen as it continues its northern course.

Although it is unusual to have a “named storm” prior to the unofficial June 1 start of the hurricane season, it has happened before. There have been 14 named May storms since 1951.

The storm currently is projected to potentially bring heavy rain and wind, and officials urge citizens to keep up with the latest updates through traditional and social media. Locally, the Washington Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness posts regular updates on its Facebook page.

FEMA recommends keeping the following basic supplies in a disaster preparation kit:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation.
  • At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • First aid kit.
  • Whistle to signal for help.
  • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place.
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.
  • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food).
  • Local maps.