Fred moves eastward, toward panhandle

Tropical Storm Fred is expected to make landfall on the western Florida Panhandle sometime Monday afternoon or evening as a tropical storm, but Biloxi residents should know that some gusty winds and street flooding in low-lying areas could be possible.

A Coastal Flood Advisory begins at 7 tonight and will continue through Monday.

The official word at 4 p.m. today: Tropical Storm Fred is about 235 miles south of Panama City, Fla., moving north-northwest at 10 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. Fred is forecast to slightly strengthen as it moves northward over the next day, until it makes landfall Monday afternoon/evening over the Florida panhandle as a tropical storm. 

Biloxi residents should be aware of the chance for minor coastal flooding, from 1 to 3 feet, and gusting winds of 15 to 20 mph, says Harrison County Emergency Manager Matt Stratton, noting that there is also a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms and rain showers, with rainfall amounts from 1 to 2 inches expected through Tuesday morning     

No evacuation of public marinas in Biloxi is in the offing, but boat owners should check their mooring lines as needed and stow any loose items.

“It looks like it’s going to be to the east of us,” said Biloxi Fire Chief Nick Geiser, who was previously the city’s emergency manager. “We might get some rain, and we may see some ponding water and maybe a road closure or two in low-lying areas.

“But we do not anticipate any issues,” Geiser added: “This is still a good time for people to dust off their storm plan, to make sure they have their storm kit, to be prudent. We’re keeping an eye on the tropics, where there are two systems. The one that we’re keeping an eye on is Grace.”
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