Tropical storm Fred made landfall near Cape San Blas, along the Florida Panhandle, on Monday afternoon with winds near 60 mph.
Although the system will weaken quickly, a foot of rain is possible in the Florida Panhandle. Fred then is forecast to barrel north through Alabama and Georgia, delivering up to 10 inches of rain.
The flash flood threat will stretch to Atlanta and could even reach Richmond, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., by Wednesday.
President Joe Biden warned last week that the hurricane-prone states also are ones with surging COVID-19 cases.
“Let me be clear. If you’re in a state where hurricanes often strike, a vital part of preparing for hurricane season is to get vaccinated now. Everything is more complicated if you’re not vaccinated and a hurricane or natural disaster hits. If you wind up having to evacuate, if you wind up having to stay in a shelter, you don’t want to add COVID-19 to the list of dangers that you’re going to be confronting,” Biden said at a briefing alongside Federal Emergency Management Agency officials.
Fred isn’t the only storm moving through the Atlantic Ocean.
Tropical depression Grace is targeting Haiti, where residents are dealing with a devastating 7.2-magnitude earthquake this weekend that killed nearly 1,300 people.
Gusty winds and heavy rain are expected in Haiti Monday and Jamaica on Tuesday.
And a new tropical depression formed near Bermuda on Monday morning that could become Tropical Storm Henri later in the day.
Henri is expected to circle around Bermuda, where a tropical storm watch is in effect. Henri’s only impact on the U.S. could be high waves and rip currents along the East Coast.