Florida, Georgia and the Bahamas are bracing for Tropical Storm Fred as it swept into the Dominican Republic on Wednesday.

The US states and Caribbean island have been warned of potential floods and mud slides. Fred weakened to a tropical depression on Wednesday night as it continued to dump vast quantities of rainfall in its path, but could strengthen back into a tropical storm as it moves towards Cuba and mainland USA. 

Some 300,000 customers were without power in the Dominican Republic and more than a half million were affected by swollen rivers that forced part of the aqueduct system to shut down, government officials reported.


After a quiet month of no named storms in the region, Fred became the sixth of the Atlantic hurricane season late Tuesday as it moved past the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on a forecast track that would carry it toward Florida over the weekend.

Government crews with megaphones walked through impoverished neighborhoods in the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo ahead of the storm urging those in low-lying areas to evacuate. 

Some form of TS Fred is expected to touch down on Florida soil by Saturday around 8am, with winds estimated to be around 45 mph

Some form of TS Fred is expected to touch down on Florida soil by Saturday around 8am, with winds estimated to be around 45 mph

Vehicles move through a flooded street during the passage of Tropical Storm Fred in Santo Domingo

Vehicles move through a flooded street during the passage of Tropical Storm Fred in Santo Domingo

Men take a boat off a beach before the arrival of Tropical Storm Fred in Dominican Republic

Men take a boat off a beach before the arrival of Tropical Storm Fred in Dominican Republic

Hours later, the government reported flooding in one courthouse.

Meanwhile, Florida and the Bahamas are in the direct path of what forecasters are calling the storm's 'cone of uncertainty,' meaning it may or may not see any destruction at all, according to WTVY

Some form of TS Fred is expected to touch down on Florida soil by Saturday around 8am, with winds estimated to be around 45 mph. By Sunday at 7am, it could be as far north as Dothan, Georgia with winds increasing to 65 mph, the outlet reports.

The Bahamas are expected to see slightly lighter winds around 35 to 40 mph between Thursday and Friday morning as Fred makes his way stateside.  


Tropical storm warnings were discontinued in the US territories after pelting the islands with rain, leaving some 13,000 customers without power in Puerto Rico. 

Fred was centered 25 miles south of Cap Haitien, Haiti, on Wednesday night and moving west-northwest at 15 mph, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. It had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph.

Palm trees sway in the wind and rain during the passage of Tropical Storm Fred in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on Wednesday

Palm trees sway in the wind and rain during the passage of Tropical Storm Fred in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on Wednesday

Forecasters said Fred was expected to become a tropical storm again Thursday as it moved near the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas and then pass north of the northern coast of central Cuba on Friday.  

Residents of Florida were urged to monitor updates as the storm makes its way north.

Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi had closed government agencies on Tuesday at noon and officials noted that some gas stations had shut down after running out of fuel.

More than a month had passed since the last Atlantic storm, Hurricane Elsa, but this time of summer usually marks the start of the peak of hurricane season.

The storm was expected to produce rainfall of 3 to 5 inches over the Dominican Republic with up to 8 inches in some areas.


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