Thousands evacuated in North Carolina amid Alberto flooding, mudslides

Asheville, North Carolina (USA Today): Asheville has received 13.26 inches of rain this month, making it the city’s wettest May on record by more than 4 inches, AccuWeather reported.

“A normal May would be 3.66 inches, so you are talking about almost 10 inches more than normal,” senior meteorologist Paul Walker said. “And it continues to rain.”

Two people were rescued after a mudslide pushed a state Department of Transportation truck into the Catawba River in McDowell County.

“To illustrate the power of water, about 10 feet of rushing water pushed the 33,000-pound truck more than 1,000 feet downriver,” the department warned.

Western portions of the Carolinas have seen more than 20 inches in the past two weeks, the National Weather Service said. Two television station employees of WYFF in Greenville, S.C., were killed Monday when a tree fell on their vehicle as they covered the storm in Polk County, N.C.

Alberto, the first named storm of a hurricane season that won’t officially start until Friday, made landfall Monday west of Panama City on Florida’s Gulf Coast, delivering heavy rains, surging seas and winds of 45 mph.

The winds died down, but the rain continued to plague much of the South. Heavy rains fell in parts of Alabama on Wednesday. Better times are coming, Walker said.

“The very soupy air that has stretched from the western Caribbean across a half to a third of the U.S. for the last week to 10 days is starting to break up,” Walker said. “Things should improve in the next few days.”

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