Our Georgia History
 

Tropical Storm Alberto
June 18, 1994 A tropical wave forms over western Africa
  Tropical Storm Alberto
June 29, 1994 Thunderstorms from a weak tropical system hit Cuba
  Tropical Storm Alberto
June 30, 1994 Hurricane hunters return with information from the tropical depression off the coast of Cuba. NOAA declares it the first named storm of the 1994 hurricane season
  Tropical Storm Alberto
July 3, 1994 Alberto comes ashore at Destin, Florida as a tropical storm (not a hurricane, sustained winds were less than 75 mph)
  Tropical Storm Alberto
July 5, 1994 Having moved slowly north across the Florida panhandle, Alberto tracked slowly north until it stopped south of Atlanta
  Tropical Storm Alberto
July 6, 1994 Tropical Storm Alberto causes the worst flooding in the history of Georgia, inundating a wide area of the state and causing the Flint, Ocmulgee, and Chattahoochee Rivers to reach record high levels
  Tropical Storm Alberto
July 7, 1994 The storm finally rains itself out over central Alabama
  Tropical Storm Alberto
July 7, 1994 Ocmulgee River crests in Macon at 35.4 ft, new record (Hurricane Alberto).
  Tropical Storm Alberto
July 8, 1994 Flint River, Montezuma, crests at 35 ft above flood level. (All-time record, Hurricane Alberto)
  Tropical Storm Alberto


Don't think a storm needs to be a hurricane to do immense destruction, as the people of the state of Georgia found out when Tropical Storm Alberto stalled over the state for days at the start of July, 1994. Alberto began its journey to Georgia off the coast of Africa as a tropical wave and during its journey never actually reached hurricane status. In the Virgin Islands it was little more than thunderstorms, but by the time the storm reached Cuba the National Weather Service had noticed the telltale circulation of a tropical storm. They sent out a hurricane hunter aircraft, specially equipped to measure on-site phenomena. Upon return, the National Weather Service declared the wave to be the first named storm of the 1994 hurricane season, Tropical Storm Alberto.

The storm hit the Southeastern coast of the United States in the vicinity of Destin, Florida, and slowly crossed the Florida panhandle into the state of Georgia. Here Alberto slowed its northward movement until it stalled south of the Atlanta Airport. During this period towns in west Georgia in the path of Alberto received record amounts of rainfall including Columbus, Albany, and Macon. In Americus, Georgia, north of Albany, the all-time state record for rainfall in a 24-hour period was set when the city racked up a total of 21.1 inches between July 5 and 6. A total of more than 27 inches fell on the city over the 6 days of the storm.

Georgians then had to deal with the inevitable flooding as the rivers rose to record levels. In many places the rivers crested at between 5 and 15 feet above flood stage. Some of the NWS measuring stations hit 20 feet above flood level. By the time the storm and the flooding were over a total of 33 Georgians were dead.





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