TS Fred Strengthens as It Approaches Panhandle, TD Grace Headed for Haiti

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Tropical Storm Fred could reach hurricane strength before it makes landfall Monday night at the Florida Panhandle, and the NHC is warning of “life-threatening inundation. Meanwhile, Tropical Depression Grace heads for Haiti on the heels of a devastating earthquake.

“Life-threatening” situation as Tropical Storm Fred approaches Florida

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned in a bulletin on Monday morning that the storm poses “a danger of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the coastline.” While the storm is gaining energy and could reach hurricane strength, the storm is expected to make landfall Monday night as a tropical storm.

As of Monday morning, Tropical Storm Fred had sustained winds of 50 mph and was located 90 miles south-southeast of Apalachicola, Florida, moving north at about 9 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Life-threatening storm surge, potential flooding rain

The NHC is predicting that the hardest-hit areas will be the Big Bend of Florida west to Pensacola, including Panama City, and has issued tropical storm warnings and flash flood watches, the Washington Post reported. At least 10 million people are under flash flood watches across the Florida Panhandle, southeastern Alabama, and Georgia.

The biggest threat is coastal flooding, however, as areas near the coast of the Florida Panhandle could receive between 4 and 8 inches of rain, while isolated areas could receive a foot of rainfall, potentially leading to flooding.

Southern Florida and the Florida Keys should brace for 3 to 5 inches of rain, NBC reported.

Tropical depression Grace heading for Haiti, mudslides and flash floods possible, could reach Texas by Saturday

Fresh on the heels of a devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake on Saturday in Haiti, which has already led to a reported near 1,300 deaths, Tropical Depression Grace is moving toward the island nation.

As of Monday morning, Grace was moving over Hispaniola, Live 5 WCSC reported, with wind gusts of 35 mph and centered 160 miles east-southeast of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and moving west at 15 mph. according to reports, up to 10 inches of constant rainfall was possible, with potentially greater amounts in isolated areas, which could lead to flash floods and mudslides in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Grace could reach Texas by Saturday

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the projected path of Grace could put the storm in the western Gulf near eastern Mexico by 2 AM on Saturday, with the southeastern tip of Texas within its cone.

Be prepared for severe weather

With the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season in full effect, the most important thing for anyone living in areas that can be affected by severe weather is to begin getting prepared now.

The most important items you need to have on hand are a fully charged cell phone, a weather radio, and a 3-day supply of fresh water and food. When it comes to a cell phone, look for the best cellular phone deals, as well as a spare battery backup charger for your phone. Make sure your weather radio is battery-powered or hand-cranked, and make sure you have fresh and/or replacement batteries available.

Develop a family emergency plan that includes an evacuation plan and a designated safe space. If everyone could possibly be separated when severe weather strikes, also have a family communications strategy. Make sure that every member of your family has a cell phone, look for the best cellular phone deals that will supply every member of your family with a phone.

Prepare an emergency kit that contains at least a 3 day supply of food and water, a weather radio for updates to know what the storm is doing and its proximity to your location. Your emergency kit should also include a flashlight, vital medications, a first aid kit, as well as food and water for your pets if you have any.

Further resources

Get additional information about how to be prepared from these US government articles on preparedness at: