Tropical Depression Fred: What to know

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On Friday morning, Tropical Depression Fred was located near the north-central coast of Cuba. 

In a Facebook post, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) wrote that the storm was located around 315 miles east-southeast of Key West, Florida and moving west-northwest near 10 mph. 

This general motion is expected to continue later Friday and Saturday.

On its forecast track, Fred is projected to move along northeastern and central Cuba through Friday evening, near the Florida Keys on Saturday and move close to the west coast of Florida on Sunday.

Fred’s maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph with higher gusts, though strengthening is expected to take place over the next couple of days and the agency said Fred could become a tropical storm again later on Friday.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Florida Keys west of Ocean Reef to the Dry Tortugas and Florida Bay, and a tropical storm watch is in effect for the southwest coast of Florida from Englewood south and east to Ocean Reef and the Cuban provinces of Ciego de Avila, Camaguey, Las Tunas, Holguin and Granma.

From Friday into Monday, 3-7 inches of rain is anticipated across the Keys, Southern and Central Florida, north toward the Big Bend with isolated maximum totals of 10 inches. 

The NHC said heavy rainfall in the region could worsen ongoing minor to isolated moderate river flooding over northern Florida and lead to lead to areal, urban and small stream flooding.

From Sunday on, heavy rain and flood impacts could also extend inland into the Southeast, southern and central Appalachians and Piedmont region.

The NHC advised that interests in the Bahamas, Cuba and the Florida Peninsula monitor Fred’s progress, noting that additional watches and warnings would likely be required for portions of these areas later Friday. 

Fred formed south of Puerto Rico late Tuesday night – also impacting the U.S. Virgin Islands – and weakened from a tropical storm to a tropical depression force on Wednesday night as it swept over Haiti and the Dominican Republic through Thursday.

The storm knocked out power for hundreds of thousands of households in the Dominican Republic and around 13,000 in Puerto Rico. 

Dominican Republic officials were also forced to shut down part of the country’s aqueduct system, due to flooding from the storm. 

Fred is the sixth named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season and the first in the month of August.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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