Eddy Warner, a retired consultant for a construction company, filled bags while waiting for his nephew to come help transport them home to protect his garage.
“I’m 65 years old and too old to be doing this,” he said, laughing.
Alberto expected to strengthen until it reaches the northern Gulf Coast, likely on Monday night.
The NWS said waves as high as 18 feet could pound the popular Gulf beaches in Baldwin County, Alabama, and northwestern Florida on Monday.
A high surf warning was in effect through 7 p.m. Tuesday local time.
A tropical storm warning remained in effect for Cuba’s western Pinar del Rio province, where heavy rains could trigger flash floods and mudslides, the NHC said.
Mexico canceled its watch for the resort-dotted coast of the Yucatan peninsula, where the storm brought heavy rain.
There were no immediate reports of emergencies. In Cancun, local newspapers showed scenes of some streets flooded to mid-hubcap level.
The downpours could dampen Memorial Day, the unofficial start of the summer tourist season along Gulf beaches.
Along with heavy rains and high winds come rough seas and a threat of rip currents from Florida to Louisiana that can sweep swimmers out to sea.
Tracey Gasper and her 6-year-old son, Chase, traveled to Biloxi Beach from Donaldsonville, Louisiana, for a day of fun in the sun with a group of friends from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The weather had scared off the usual crowds expected for the holiday weekend.
“It was a 50-50 chance of whether to come down and we decided to chance it,” Gasper said.
What is a tropical storm watch?
A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible for the area and time frame described.
At the most recent information available from NOAA, the Cuban province of Pinar del Rio and areas of Mexico from Tulum to Cabo Catoche should monitor Alberto for the next 24 hours.
What is a subtropical storm?
The NHC defines subtropical storm as a “subtropical cyclone” in which the maximum sustained wind speed — using the U.S. one-minute average — is 39 mph or higher. Subtropical storms have cooler centers than tropical storms, but they can eventually develop into tropical storms and then into hurricanes.