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Tropical Storm Fred Likely To Make An Appearance In The Caribbean Today

MIAMI — A disturbance in the Caribbean is expected to become Tropical Storm Fred today and bring needed rain to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, the National Hurricane Center  said.

The storm, currently named Potential Tropical Cyclone Six, moved through the southern Leeward Islands overnight and was located about 270 miles east-southeast of Ponce, Puerto Rico, as of 8 a.m. ET, according to the center A NOAA hurricane hunter aircraft was en route to the disturbance.

“The most important thing today is preparation,” said Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi. “I am not going to minimize the potential impact of this event…we expect a lot of rain.”

Pierluisi said government agencies will close by noon today.

The chance the system becomes a tropical storm is high at 90 percent through 48 hours and through the next five days, the hurricane center said.

Tropical Storm Fred Likely To Make An Appearance In The Caribbean Today

The disturbance is expected to pass near or over the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico later tonight and be near or over Hispaniola tomorrow. A tropical storm warning was in effect for Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic. 

Heavy rains are likely over the Leeward Islands, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, which could lead to flash, urban and small stream flooding and potential mudslides. The greatest threat for flooding impacts will be across the eastern and southeastern portions of Puerto Rico.

Tropical storm conditions are possible elsewhere along the northern coasts of the Dominican Republic, northern Haiti, the Turks and Caicos and the southeastern Bahamas beginning late Wednesday.

Tropical Storm Fred Likely To Make An Appearance In The Caribbean Today

By John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.