VENICE — As Tropical Wave Fred moved farther west, meteorologists expected impacts of rain, flooding and a high risk of rip currents for today. 

“We are anticipating quite a bit of rain,” said Richard Rude, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Tampa based in Ruskin.

Storm clouds rolling in

People enjoyed the beach Saturday morning before rain appeared from Fred.

Rude said despite the storm moving farther west, it will still be a wet weekend.

“The wind has decreased, so we don’t anticipate any tropical storm conditions,” he said.

The NWS expects 2-4 inches of rain, and flood watches remained in effect.

The Daily Sun will be updating tropical storm stories online for free throughout the weekend at

Fred preparations

Austyn Richard, of Holidaze Boat Rental at Fishermen’s Village in Punta Gorda, secures the bimini on a boat rental in anticipation of tropical weather.

Fred remained disorganized Saturday morning and shifted farther west as it moved across Cuba and near the Florida Keys.

Sarasota, Charlotte and Lee counties were under flood watch but all tropical storm watches were discontinued.

Along with rain and flooding, Rude said there was a high risk of rip currents on Sunday.

Rip current

Graphic from NOAA’s National Weather Service points to a rip current. Officials tell people to note the wave and foam action near shore. If you get caught in a rip current, try these tips from NOAA: • Relax, rip currents don’t pull you under. • Don’t swim against the current. • Try to escape by swimming out of the current in a direction following the shoreline, or toward breaking waves, then at an angle toward the beach. • You may be able to escape by floating or treading water if the current circulates back toward shore. • If you feel you will be unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself. If you need help, yell and wave for assistance.

On Saturday morning, yellow flags were in place at Venice beach with red flags expected to be put up as the storm passes by.

Another storm being watched is Tropical Storm Grace. The storm was approaching the Caribbean countries on Saturday with expected tropical storm conditions in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico today.

The National Hurricane Center reported Grace could impact Cuba, the Bahamas and Florida mid-to-late next week.

Freedom Boat Club preparation

Freedom Boat Club in Venice prepared for any flooding caused by Fred on Saturday morning.

“Right now, everything looks like it will probably track along or near Fred’s track,” Rude said about Grace’s potential track.


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