Tropical Depression Fred may soon be Tropical Storm Fred as conditions continue to strengthen. The National Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm watch for the Florida Keys and portions of West Florida on Friday, August 13.
Tropical storm conditions are expected to reach Pinellas by Saturday, August 14, according to the NHC.
“Residents are advised to follow the storm updates and prepare accordingly,” said Gulfport Cultural Events Supervisor Justin Shea.
Currently the storm is moving over Cuba with sustained winds of 35 mph. The storm track is still unclear – and the cone of uncertainty has shifted slightly to the west of Pinellas – but conditions are expected to gain momentum once Fred reaches open water off of Florida.
“Showers and thunderstorms have become a little better organized since yesterday near an area of low pressure located about 850 miles east of the Lesser Antilles,” the NHC released.
The city advises owners of vessels anchored offshore to call the Gulfport Marina directly at 727-893-1071 for information and assistance prior to the storm.
The City of Gulfport opened a sandbag site in “an abundance of caution” at the 49th Street Neighborhood Center, 1617 49th St S, on Friday, August 13 from 8 a.m. to 3 :30 p.m. and on Saturday, August 14 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There is a 10-bag limit and proof of residency may be required.
Residents on St. Pete Beach can get sandbags through the weekend here.
Residents of St. Petersburg can get sandbags year-round. More information here.
Residents in other municipalities are encouraged to call their city for sandbag information.
More Storm Resources
The County Information Center will be open for preparedness questions Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Residents can call 727-464-4333. Those who are deaf or hard of hearing can contact the CIC via online chat at bit.ly/PinellasChat.
Now is the time to finalize your emergency plans for your family – including your pets – and to double check your hurricane supplies. Look up your evacuation zone here, or, if you have a land line, you can call 727-453-3150 and enter your 10-digit home phone number.
Residents with special needs can pre-register for shelters here. Pre-registration is recommended for those transporting themselves to special needs shelters. If you need transportation assistance, registration is required. Residents only need to register for special needs shelters once per season. If you registered before Tropical Storm Elsa you do not have to do it again.
Purchase necessary items to complete your survival kit now, and be sure to include necessary hygiene supplies and gather important papers. Bring face coverings and sanitizer if you are planning to go to a shelter. Review checklist online here.