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Remembering Alberto '94


The name Alberta brings bad memories for tens of thousands of residents of the Wiregrass, northwest Florida and southwest Georgia.

Tropical Storm Alberta came through Seaside and Grayton Beach without too many problems, but she would then stall over northern Georgia and Alabama dumping more than 20 inches of rain in 48 hours.

For those who lived through it 12 years ago, the memories are ingrained on their memory.

Water from the Choctawhatchee River surged out its banks leaving Caryville under water. The rains from Tropical Storm Alberta had also caused tremendous flooding damage in Elba and Geneva.

Wilford Forehand operates a small Caryville hardware store. His business was flooded.

“We had a day's warning. We’ve been two or three floods before, but nothing like this. We got out for three days and there was water all over the place. They wouldn't let us back in."

Jet skis and boats were the only form of transportation for several days along U.S. Highway 90. Just hearing there is another Tropical Storm Alberta brewing in the northern Gulf brings an uneasy feeling.

"It was a lot of water here where we are standing in this dust bowl. I had to get a boat to get in and out of the house," said Casey Pate

Although less than a foot deep in certain portions of the Choctawhatchee River, in 1994 tropical storm Alberta saw the water levels go to 25 and 26 feet.

"My brother's mobile home got trapped. The water was well above the top windows," said Becky Pate.

Tropical Storm Alberta essentially killed Caryville forever. There's now less than a third of the population that lived there prior to the "great flood."

Following the flood of 1994, FEMA came in and bought out many of the homeowners. They now live several miles outside of Caryville.

Weather experts are not predicting anything from this Tropical Storm Alberta, resembling what happened in the summer of 1994.


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