Flash Flood Watch continues amid days of rain

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Franklin County, in the Florida Panhandle, has issued a mandatory evacuation for its barrier islands in the Gulf of Mexico affecting some 4,200 housing units, while Taylor County, to the east, has a voluntary evacuation order in place for its coastal areas.

The National Weather Service in Greenville-Spartanburg issued a flash flood warning late Tuesday night for McDowell County in western North Carolina until early Wednesday.

IN counties in the watch area include Gibson, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh, and Warrick. Heavy rain triggered landslides at the dam and along Interstate 40, which was closed near Asheville.

"Two journalists working to keep the public informed about this storm have tragically lost their lives, and we mourn with their families, friends and colleagues", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement.

After moving into the Tennessee Valley, the system is forecast to head into the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes region Wednesday and Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Alberto's top winds weakened on Monday to 45 miles per hour (75 kph) when its center made landfall near Panama City, Florida, weather officials said, with a city fire official adding that the wind and rain knocked down trees but did not force any rescues. Double-red flags along the white sandy beaches kept most people out of the rough waters, and some low-lying areas experienced minor flooding, officials said.

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"What Alberto has done for us is to have people dust off their hurricane plans and stock up on supplies", Whitehurst said.

Previous year (2017), there were 17 named storms, 10 of which became hurricanes; the first named storm was Arlene - a rare preseason tropical storm that arrived in April.

Journalists Mike McCormick and Aaron Smeltzer died in a freak accident today while covering weather conditions in North Carolina, in the US, during Storm Alberto.

Tomorrow: We will still have some bands of rain and storms through the day.

Several schools were closed in western North Carolina because of flooding. The men died instantly, their vehicle's engine still running, he said.

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