In a tweet, the Florida Division of Emergency Management shared a photo of one of its “daily calls with county offices in the county” in preparation for the storm.
“The division holds daily calls with county offices in the county in preparation for TS #Fred,” the division wrote Wednesday. “The state is hosting these calls to ensure we can respond quickly and efficiently. TS #Fred can impact FL this weekend. Residents should turn on weather forecasts & monitor local news broadcasts. “
“PTC # 6 evolved into Tropical Storm #Peace overnight. This is the sixth storm of the season and could potentially affect Florida this weekend,” Gov. Ron DeSantis tweeted earlier in the day. “While it’s too early to determine the exact consequences, Floridians should review their disaster plans and follow @FLSERT for updates.”
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also urged Floridians to follow instructions from local officials, monitor the Florida Division of Emergency Management and the National Hurricane Center Atlantic Twitter accounts, and “have more ways to get weather alerts.”
“We’re monitoring the evolution of Tropical Storm #Fred. If you’re on your way, now’s the time to #BeReady,” the agency said.
Heavy rainfall hit Hispaniola on Thursday and The National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned that further precipitation can lead to mudslides, rapid river rises as well as lightning, urban and small streams.
About 13,000 inhabitants in Puerto Rico was also left without power after Fred destroyed the islands with rain, and tropical storm warnings were interrupted there and in US Virgin Islands as the storm continued.
The Hurricane Center said at 11 a.m. ET Tropical Depression Peace was centered about 105 miles west of Great Inagua Island and about 180 miles east of Camaguey, Cuba.
The storm is moving west-northwest near 14 mph with a drop in forward speed expected for the next day or two, and maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph with higher gusts.
Rainfall of 3 to 5 inches was expected in the Dominican Republic, Haiti and the Western Bahamas as well as 1 to 3 inches above the Turks and Caicos, the Eastern Bahamas and Cuba.
Although “small change in strength was expected through Thursday evening,” slow strengthening is expected Friday and into Saturday.
During this time, Fred is expected to regain tropical storm strength.
The storm is on a weather forecast track that would lead it northwest to south Florida, where the biggest threat to the United States appears to be heavy rain in Sunshine State and parts of Southeast from Friday to the beginning of next week.
Three to 5 inches of rain is expected across the Keys and the South Florida Peninsula through Monday, with isolated maximum totals of 8 inches.
Heavy rainfall in Florida, the Hurricane Center noted, could lead to potential rapid river rises and area, urban and small streams.
The NHC said a tropical storm guard is likely to be deployed for parts of the Florida Keys and the southern Florida peninsula on Thursday afternoon, with the risk of tropical storm conditions beginning early Saturday.
Peace is the sixth named storm of 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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