The soggy remnants of Alberto are spreading rain deeper into the nation's midsection after downing trees, triggering power outages, and causing scattered flooding around the South. Forecasters say what's left of the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season is still capable of causing flash flooding, the AP reports. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Tuesday that as Alberto's weakening system moves inland Wednesday, it still remains a potential menace. Flash flood watches are in effect for parts of several states from Alabama through Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, the Carolinas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
In its wake, the large system caused more than 25,000 power outages in Alabama on Tuesday, a day after making landfall on the Florida Panhandle. Many of the outages were caused by trees rooted in soggy soil falling across utility lines. In Cuba, flooding damaged an oil refinery and caused crude oil to spill into Cienfuegos Bay as the remnants of Alberto continued to drench the island in heavy rain. State-owned TV showed authorities using barriers Tuesday to try to contain the spill from the Cienfuegos refinery in central Cuba about 150 miles southeast of Havana. (In North Carolina, a TV news anchor and a photojournalist were killed Monday while covering the weather.)