Tropical Storm Fred makes landfall in the Dominican Republic and could hit Florida this week

Tropical Storm Fred makes landfall in the Dominican Republic and could hit Florida this week

The storm could cause flash flooding in Florida.

Photo: Mark Wallheiser / Getty Images

Tropical Storm Fred made landfall in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday, bringing heavy rains that could lead to dangerous flooding and the possibility of landslides, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. The storm is expected to hit Florida by the end of the week.

The tropical storm was located about 75 miles west-northwest of Santo Domingo, with winds of 40 mph, the NHC said Wednesday afternoon.

The storm will bring rain to Florida and other parts of the southeastern United States on Friday and its effects will continue into next week.

Fred is the sixth named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.

There is a tropical storm watch for Haiti, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the southeastern Bahamas and the Cuban provinces of Ciego de Ávila, Camagüey, Las Tunas, Holguín, Granma, Santiago de Cuba and Guantánamo.

The Dominican Republic and the western Bahamas could see 3 to 5 inches (locally up to 8 inches) of rain from this system. Flash floods and landslides are of concern.

Haiti, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the eastern Bahamas and eastern Cuba are expected to receive 1 to 3 inches of rain, with isolated totals of 5 inches.

On Tuesday, the storm passed through the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, where many residents were without power, according to CBS News.

Luma, the company that operates Puerto Rico’s power transmission and distribution system, said most of the power was restored Wednesday, but it was still working to restore power to the Adjuntas municipality.

Impacts in Florida

Florida is expected to receive 3 to 5 inches of rain, which could cause flash floods in the Keys and the south of the peninsula. Some isolated areas can see up to eight inches.

But forecasters warn that it is still too early to accurately predict the course of Tropical Storm Fred as it approaches Florida over the weekend.

White House officials stressed that the “most important” step in preparing for hurricanes is to get the COVID-19 vaccine “to ensure they will be protected” if they are forced to evacuate their homes.

The Delta variant has caused COVID rates to skyrocket across Florida. This month, the state posted the highest daily case rate and current hospitalization rates since the height of the pandemic.

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