Fred weakens in tropical depression
ORLANDO, Florida. – Fred was downgraded from tropical storm to tropical depression after making landfall Wednesday afternoon in the Dominican Republic on his way to Florida.
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On Wednesday evening, former Tropical Storm Fred was centered 55 miles southeast of Cap-Haitien Haiti and was moving west-northwest at 15 mph, the US National Hurricane Center said. There were maximum sustained winds of 35 mph, up from 40 mph earlier in the day.
The latest models are pushing the storm a bit further west, with less Florida in the cone than previous projections had shown, but still with much of the state remaining in the cone. The system was to stay over Hispaniola overnight until Thursday.
The National Hurricane Center said the system continues to bring heavy rains to Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
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After a calm month with no unnamed storms in the region, Fred became the sixth of the Atlantic hurricane season on Tuesday night as he passed through the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on a planned track that would take him to the Florida by the weekend.
“Fred’s center is expected to be over Hispaniola overnight, move near the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas on Thursday, and move near or north of the north coast of central Cuba on Thursday. evening and Friday, “NHC forecasters wrote in their 8 p.m. notice on Wednesday.
Residents of Florida have also been urged to watch for updates.
Tropical storm warnings were interrupted in U.S. territories after bombarding the islands with rain.
More than 13,000 customers were without power in Puerto Rico, where Luma, the company in charge of the transmission and distribution system, has warned those who depend on electricity for vital medical devices to activate plans to emergency.
“Puerto Rico’s system (…) continues to be very fragile,” the company said, referring to the power grid destroyed by Hurricane Maria in 2017.
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Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi shut down government agencies at noon Tuesday and officials noted that some gas stations had closed after running out of fuel. The heaviest rains were expected to fall overnight, forecasters said.
Eight shelters have been opened across the island, although officials said only seven people had checked in by mid-evening.
“Don’t wait until the last minute to mobilize,” said Nino Correa, Emergency Management Commissioner of Puerto Rico. “We don’t want fatal accidents.
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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 hurricane center issued warnings for the Dominican Republic on the south coast of Punta Palenque to the east and on the north coast of the Dominican Republic / Haiti border to the east. A watch was in force for Haiti from the northern border with the Dominican Republic to Gonaïves, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeast of the Bahamas, as well as the Cuban provinces of Ciego de Avila, Camaguey, Las Tunas, Holguin, Granma, Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo.
The storm was expected to produce 3-5 inches of precipitation in the Dominican Republic with up to 8 inches in some areas.
The next named storms will be called Grace and Henri.
The hurricane season runs until November.
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