08:53 GMT30 July 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Recreational US boaters, who plan to set sail during the three-day Memorial Day weekend, are being urged stay on dry land, as gale-force winds from a dangerous subtropical storm threaten the Gulf of Mexico region, US Coast Guard said.

    "Typically, there is an increase of boaters on the water during the holiday weekend, however, due to the impeding storm the Coast Guard urges boaters to take precautions for their personal safety," the Coast Guard stated in a press release on Friday. "Rescue and assistance by the Coast Guard and other agencies may be degraded as the storm approaches. Boaters are urged to secure their vessels and emergency-position-indicating radio beacons."

    The release explained that storms often blow unsecured beacons overboard, even when boats are tied up in port, creating false emergency signals.

    Meanwhile, the US National Hurricane Center said that Tropical storm dubbed Alberto was heading toward the US coast in Florida over the northwestern Caribbean Sea.

    "Heavy rainfall expected to affect the Yucatan Peninsula…Western Cuba…Florida…and the northeastern Gulf Coast through the weekend," the latest public advisory read.

    Alberto is the first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season, which officially begins in June. It formed in the Gulf of Mexico on Friday and threatens to batter the northern Gulf of Mexico coast with heavy rains and storm surge. The storm, packing maximum winds of 40 miles per hour, is currently located 108 miles southeast of Mexico’s Cozumel island and creeping north at 5 miles per hour. It is expected to speed up on Saturday through Sunday.

    A tornado or two may occur over the Florida Keys and parts of southern and southwestern Florida beginning Saturday evening, the NHC said.

    Last year was the worst hurricane season in recent memory, with monster storms Harvey, Irma and Maria flooding parts of Texas and wiping out electric power in the US territory of Puerto Rico and nearby islands.



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