Fred again strengthens to tropical storm, takes aim at northern Gulf Coast

Fred again strengthens to tropical storm, takes aim at northern Gulf Coast

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The storm system designated Fred has regained tropical storm status as it strengthens on its way through the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. 

Tropical Storm warnings will be issued for portions of the northern Gulf Coast as of 11 a.m. Sunday, the National Hurricane Center advised.

Fred passed over Cuba on Friday and into the Florida Keys Saturday as it weakened to a tropical wave.

City workers fill sandbags at a drive-thru sandbag distribution event for residents ahead of the arrival of rains associated with tropical depression Fred, Friday, Aug. 13, 2021, at Grapeland Park in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

The storm is expected to make landfall in the Florida Panhandle and Alabama early Tuesday morning, when it may achieve gusts of up to 50 mph as it works its way through the Deep South.

Between 3 and 7 inches of rain is anticipated across the region by Monday, with some areas expected to receive as much as 10 inches of rain.

Fred is just one of two storm systems moving through the Gulf of Mexciso over the next two days, with Tropical Storm Grace set to pass over the Dominican Republic and Haiti by Tuesday. 

Haiti is also recovering from the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck the island Saturday, killing at least 227 people and injuring about 158 more. 

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“We’re concerned that this earthquake is just one more crisis on top of what the country is already facing – including the worsening political stalemate after the president’s assassination, COVID and food insecurity,” said Jean-Wickens Merone, spokesman for World Vision Haiti.

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