Disaster Discourse: The Hagerty Blog

Tropical Storm Fred on Track to Hit Florida, While Tropical Depression Grace Moving Towards Earthquake-Devastated Haiti

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Hurricane Center (NHC), Tropical Storm Fred is moving north toward the Florida Panhandle at 9 miles per hour (mph), with winds as high as 50 mph. Currently, Fred sits roughly 90 miles south-southwest of Apalachicola, Florida. The NHC predicts that Fred will move close to Florida’s Panhandle by later today, before moving across the Florida/ Alabama line early tomorrow morning. The storm is predicted to bring dangerous, possibly life-threatening, storm surge and a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the coast — from Navarre to the Wakulla/ Jefferson County line. Additionally, NOAA is predicting that the Panhandle will experience 1 to 2 inches of additional rain.

GOES-East – Sector view Gulf of Mexico – GeoColor: NOAA

Tropical Storm Fred is accompanied by Tropical Depression Grace to the southeast. As of 5:00 am EDT this morning, Grace is moving over the southern coast of the Dominican Republic, where officials have issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the entire coast of the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Jamaica. NOAA is anticipating the possibility of flash flooding and mudslides throughout the region today. Tropical Depression Grace is currently producing maximum sustained winds of 35 mph and traveling at 15 mph west-northwest.

Twitter: City of Tallahassee

 The NHC has cautioned that Tropical Depression Grace could also pose a significant risk to Haiti following the devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the southwestern region of the country last Saturday, August 14. According to The New York Times, the earthquake toppled hundreds of buildings and has killed at least 1,297 people to date, with the full extent of the casualties and damage not yet known. Recovery from the earthquake could prove to be even more challenging as Grace brings the potential for flash flooding and mudslides as it moves across Haiti late Monday or early Tuesday. 

Twitter: Reuters

Hospitals are already overwhelmed by the thousands of injured residents requiring medical attention following the earthquake, with Reuters reporting healthcare centers have run out of space. The head of Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency, Jerry Chandler, commented on the issue, noting “there are very important facilities that are dysfunctional as we speak and those that are functional are receiving an overflow of patients.” Countries such as the Dominican Republic and Mexico sent immediate life-saving commodities, such as food and medicine, while Colombia and the United States (US) have dispatched search and rescue personnel to assist with relief efforts. Haiti’s government cautioned against aid groups setting up makeshift camps, instead encouraging them to work through the planning ministry in an attempt to minimize the same issues that took place following the debilitating earthquake that hit the country in 2010 and killed tens of thousands of people.

Flash Flood Safety Tips: NOAA 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) encourages individuals to take the necessary precautions and prepare for flooding and storm surge. FEMA provides instructions for individuals to consider before a tropical storm or hurricane, cautioning them to prepare in advance for extreme weather conditions. It is crucial to know that flash floods can develop with little to no warning, and individuals should seek out higher ground, avoid walking or driving in flood waters, and listen to the warnings of local authorities. The Hagerty Blog Team will continue providing relevant disaster and incident coverage throughout the 2021 Hurricane Season.


Here’s the breakdown of public advisories from NOAA’s NHC:



Stay updated and learn more here: