Tropical Systems Fred, Grace Threaten to Bring Heavy Rain, Flooding

The National Hurricane Center said Fred regained its tropical storm status in the Gulf of Mexico early Sunday as parts of the Caribbean were gearing up for impacts from Tropical Storm Grace.

The National Hurricane Center said Fred regained its tropical storm status in the Gulf of Mexico early Sunday just hours before Grace was demoted to a tropical depression.

Fred was forecast to move across the Gulf before reaching the coast Monday night or Tuesday morning, forecasters said. They said people from Alabama to the central Florida Panhandle should monitor the system's progress.

The Tropical Storm Watch from the Alabama/Florida border to Navarre
has been discontinued.
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for the coast of Florida from the Indian Pass to Yankeetown. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the coast of the Florida Panhandle from Navarre to the Wakulla/Jefferson County line.

Fred's maximum sustained winds stood at 50 mph (85 kph) Sunday night.

NBC 6 First Alert Meteorologist Angie Lassman has the latest on two tropical system that are forecast to bring heavy rainfall to the region.

Anticipating Fred, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for the state's Panhandle region. And Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statement Saturday saying her administration was monitoring the weather and “will be ready to act from the state level if needed.”

As of 10 p.m. EDT, Fred was located Sunday night about 200 miles (325 kilometers) south of Panama City, Florida, and moving north-northwest at 9 mph (15 kph).

Meanwhile, Grace was demoted to a depression as its maximum sustained winds fell to 35 mph (55 kph), below the 39 mph (63 kph) threshold for a tropical storm. It was located about 260 miles (415 kilometers) east-southeast of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday night.

Tropical storm warnings for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands were discontinued. A tropical storm watch was issued for the Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

The storm was moving west at 15 mph (24 kph).

Both Grace and Fred, regardless of their storm status, posed a heavy rain and flood threat, forecasters said.

NBC 6's Ryan Nelson is in Edgewater where cities are deploying water pump stations in flood prone areas.

Rainfall totals around 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) were forecast from Grace for Haiti and the Dominican Republic, through Tuesday. Fred was forecast to bring roughly the same amount of rainfall to the Big Bend of Florida and the Panhandle.

A tropical storm earlier in the week, Fred had weakened to a depression by its spin over Haiti and the Dominican Republic, where it knocked out power to some 400,000 customers and caused flooding that forced officials to shut part of the country’s aqueduct system, interrupting water service for hundreds of thousands of people. Local officials reported hundreds of people were evacuated and some buildings were damaged.

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