Updated: USA and Cuba – Thousands Evacuate Flooding From Storm Alberto

Update, 30 May, 2018

Around 200 people were evacuated from areas near Lake Tahoma dam McDowell County, North Carolina, after heavy rain resulted in a landslide that is thought could have compromised the dam.

McDowell County Emergency Management said:

“Mandatory evacuation for all residents living below Lake Tahoma. This was issued at the recommendation of dam engineers. This is for your safety. After daylight engineers will begin inspecting the dam and determine whether the evacuation order is still needed.”

Three shelters have been opened for those displaced.

A tweet from the National Weather Service Greenville-Spartanburg said: ‘A landslide has comprised the integrity of Lake Tahoma Dam. MANDATORY EVACUATIONS underway from the Dam at Lake Shore Dr to Lake Tahoma Rd (NC 80) to the confluence of the Catawba River near Resistoflex Rd and Riverside Park. ACT NOW TO PRESERVE YOUR LIFE!’

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Original report 29 May 2018

The first named storm of the season in USA, Subtropical Storm Alberto made landfall near Laguna Beach in Florida on 28 May, with maximum sustained winds of 75 km/h.

The previous day the storm caused flooding in parts of Cuba, where local media say around 22,000 people have evacuated. Reservoir levels are precariously high in some provinces. Flooded roads in Cienfuegos province means that some communities have been isolated. Buildings in the city of Cienfuegos have collapsed after the heavy rain.

Meanwhile in the USA the storm has already claimed two lives. Two journalists reporting on the severe weather in North Carolina died when a tree fell on their vehicle.

After making landfall, Alberto has continued moving north-northwest, slightly weakening into a Subtropical Depression. The storm is forecast keep moving north-northwestward moving over Alabama on 29 May and Tennessee on 30 May, weakening further but with potential for heavy rain.

Early on 29 May, the National Hurricane Center said “Heavy rainfall will lead to a significant risk of flash flooding across the Florida Panhandle, much of Alabama and western Georgia overnight, spreading northward into northern Georgia, the western Carolinas and Tennessee today.”

Flood risk areas in USA as Storm Alberto moves north. Image: NOAA


According to local media, storm Alberto already caused some flooding in parts of Cuba.

Granma, the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party, reported that around “3,000 people have been evacuated in the central province of Sancti Spiritus because of the threat of flooding, as well as those near the Zaza Reservoir, which has overflowed due to the heavy rain. About 2,000 people have reportedly been evacuated in the province of Villa Clara.”

Granma reports that 5,000 people have been evacuated in Marti Municipality in Matanzas province as the Bibanasi reservoir threatens to overflow. The provinces of Pinar del Rio, Artemisa and Ciego de Avila have also been affected by the storm.

Juventud Rebelde news reports that over 11,000 people have been evacuated in the province of Cienfuegos, where roads have been blocked by flooding and some communities left isolated. Houses have reportedly collapsed as a result of the heavy rain in the city of Cienfuegos. No injuries have been reported. Areas of Cienfuegos recorded 218.8 mm of rain between 27 and 28 May.

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Flood Summary

Last updated: May 31, 2018
Subtropical Storm Alberto, Cuba and USA, May 2018
May 27, 2018
Flash flood
Extreme rainfall


A - Sancti Spiritus, Cuba (Cuba)
B - Villa Clara, Cuba (Cuba)
C - Matanzas (Cuba)
D - Cienfuegos (Cuba)
E - Lake Tahoma dam, McDowell County (United States)
F - Watauga County, NC (United States)
G - Polk County, NC, USA (United States)
H - Helen, Georgia (United States)


Rainfall level
218.8 mm in 24 hours
Cienfueguero, Cuba - May 27 to May 28, 2018
Cuba media reports
Rainfall level
102.3 mm in 24 hours
Wilmington, NC, USA - May 28 to May 29, 2018
WMO figures
Rainfall level
53 mm in 24 hours
Charleston, SC, USA - May 28 to May 29, 2018
WMO figures
Rainfall level
52 mm in 24 hours
Athens, GA, USA - May 28 to May 29, 2018
WMO figures
Rainfall level
65.8 mm in 24 hours
Montgomery, AL, USA - May 29 to May 30, 2018
River level
6.01 metres
French Broad River, Blantyre, NC - May 31 to May 31, 2018
French Broad River was at 19.72 feet at Blantyre, above Moderate Flood stage of 19 feet.


Cuba - May 27 to May 29, 2018
200 people
McDowell County, North Carolina - May 29 to May 30, 2018
4 people
Cuba - May 28 to May 31, 2018
4 people
North Carolina - May 26 to May 31, 2018
2 people died from wind damage, 2 in a landslide. 1 person also died on 21 May (before Alberto) in a landslide in Polk County, NC.
Missing people
2 people
Albemarle County, Virginia - May 30 to May 31, 2018