Eyes on Fred as storm targets Gulf

The center landfall swath (as of Wednesday morning) pinpoints an area from Panama City to Cedar Key, Florida.
Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 9:17 AM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -Tropical Storm Fred could bring drenching rain and damaging winds to south Alabama and neighboring states early next week, likely Sunday and Monday.

The projected landfall swath (as of Wednesday morning) centers on an area from Panama City to Cedar Key, Florida, though the overall swath is far wider.

Fred was barely at tropical storm strength Wednesday morning with sustained 40 mile-per-hour winds. With land interaction, little strengthening is expected before the system moves into the southeast Gulf of Mexico this weekend, per National Hurricane Center forecasters.

Local Emergency Management Agency directors are taking a wait and see attitude.

“This system bears watching over the next several days but it is still too early to pin down impacts into our area,” Coffee County EMA Director James Brown said in a briefing on Wednesday.

News 4 Chief Meteorologist David Paul told viewers that conditions would keep local impacts minimal if the storm’s center passes east of the Wiregrass.

Decisions on school and other closings likely won’t be made until the weekend, when forecasters have higher confidence in Fred’s path.

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