Tropical Storm Fred retreated to a tropical depression on Wednesday as it passed over the Dominican Republic, dumping torrential rain that meteorologists say could cause dangerous flooding and landslides there as well as in Haiti.
Government officials reported that about 300,000 customers were without electricity in the Dominican Republic and more than half a million were affected by river flooding that forced the closure of part of the aqueduct system.
After a quiet month in weather, Fred became the sixth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season on Tuesday after passing over the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, in a path that, according to forecasts, is headed to Florida this weekend.
Government teams with loudspeakers toured favelas in the Dominican capital Santo Domingo before the storm arrived to call on residents to evacuate low-lying areas. Hours later, the government reported a flood in court.
Tropical storm warnings for the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico have been deactivated after heavy rain left about 13,000 customers without power in Puerto Rico.
As of early Thursday, Fred’s vortex was 1,055 kilometers (65 miles) south-southwest of Grand Inagua, Bahamas, and was moving from west to northwest at 26 km/h (16 mph), according to for the center. States. Its maximum sustained winds were 55 km/h (35 mph).
Forecasters said Fred won’t gain much traction in his advance over the southeastern Bahamas on Thursday. Then it will pass along or north of the central and eastern coast of Cuba later in the day and Friday, and will be near the Florida Keys and the south of the peninsula on Saturday. It is expected to strengthen slowly on Friday and the weekend. Florida residents are urged to look for updates.
It’s been over a month since the last Atlantic storm, Hurricane Elsa, but that’s usually the busiest time of hurricane season.
The meteor is expected to receive between 7 and 12 cm (3 to 5 in) of rain over the Dominican Republic, with up to 20 cm (8 in) in some areas.
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