Alberto downgraded to depression, dumps heavy rains on South

Forecasters warn Alberto is a still-menacing depression after its Memorial Day landfall, scattering heavy rains around the South amid heightened risks of flash flooding.

Subtropical Storm Alberto made landfall Monday afternoon in the Florida Panhandle and then weakened to a depression overnight as it churned inland. It currently is located over Central Alabama, moving at 13 miles per hour.

Though the storm had weakened, forecasters, warn, it still is capable of potentially life-threatening flash floods in coming hours or days as the vast system spreads over much of Alabama and large areas of Georgia -- and eventually into Tennessee and the Carolinas.

Authorities did not directly attribute any deaths or injuries immediately to Alberto. But in North Carolina, a television news anchor and a photojournalist were killed Monday when a tree uprooted from rain-soaked ground toppled on their SUV as they covered storms on the fringes of the big, ill-defined system.

Alabama's largest electrical utility says about 20,000 homes and businesses are without power as the remnants of Alberto move through the state.

Alabama Power Co. says most of the outages, about 11,000, are in the state's most populous area around Birmingham. About 6,000 more customers are without power around Montgomery.

Soil is saturated by rainwater, and winds blowing 25 mph with higher gusts are topping trees.

Alabama Power says damage is widespread.

The storm's remnants doused the Deep South with waves of rain Tuesday as the vast, soggy system pushed northward toward the Tennessee Valley. Forecasters said the subtropical depression swirling near Birmingham could dump as much as 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain on central Alabama.