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With Alberto, we may get a soaking

The tropical storm, expected to make landfall overnight, could bring standing water with it.

By JORGE SANCHEZ
Published June 12, 2006


Tropical Storm Alberto, the first named storm of the hurricane season, will probably make a sloshy, windy landfall in northern Citrus County overnight.

Emergency planners said residents should monitor the tropical storm's progress, because it could pack a punch.

"Worst case scenario, it will bring an 8-foot storm surge," said sheriff's Capt. Joe Eckstein, manager of the Emergency Operations Center in Lecanto. "That would mean flooding up to the west side of U.S. 19.

"I'm not saying this is what's going to happen for certain, it's just a possibility and we have to make sure everyone realizes that. So my best advice to all residents is to be ready."

Three sandbag stations will be open today. They will be at the Crystal River fire department, 650 NW Third Ave., at a county park at 4508 S Grand March Ave., Homosassa, and at 7490 State Road 44 W, near Crystal River between Dan's Clam Stand and Manatee Lanes. The sandbags are free.

The sandbags can prevent water from seeping into homes.

Tropical Storm Alberto is expected to make landfall between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. Tuesday. This means that the morning drive to work on Tuesday could be challenging. There may be standing water on many roads.

While no evacuations of Citrus' low-lying west coast were issued Sunday, Eckstein said the order could possibly come today.

He said the storm could produce 4 to 8 inches of rain, driven by strong wind gusts. This could create the 8-foot storm surge.

A storm surge is a rising series of waves that pushes water inland very quickly. Tuesday's first high tide at the mouth of the Crystal River will be at 5:19 a.m.

Jorge Sanchez can be reached at (352) 860-7313 or sanchez@sptimes.com.

FOR MORE COVERAGE: See the Metro section and check the Times Web site, www.tampabay.com, for more information.the forecasttoday: Periods of showers and possibly a thunderstorm, mainly after 8a.m. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain. High near 84. South southeast wind between 11 and 13 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. Tonight: Periods of showers and possibly a thunderstorm before 8p.m., then showers and thunderstorms likely after 8p.m. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain. Low near 72. Windy, with a south southeast wind 11 to 14 mph, then between 28 and 31 mph. Winds could gust as high as 49 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. New rainfall amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.

[Last modified June 12, 2006, 08:14:13]


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