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8/13/21 10:15am

We continue to monitor Tropical Depression Fred as it is passing through Hispanola and Cuba, which is expected to return to Tropical Storm status by Friday. 

The National Weather Service has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for coastal Lee and Collier Counties.  Though poorly organized, the system is expected to re-develop into what has been called “a minimal tropical storm.”  The biggest impact will be heavy rain (up to four to six inches) and winds up to 30 mph (with possible gusts of up to 40 – 50 mph).

Be sure to monitor local media for updates related to Southwest Florida and the islands.  Some websites to follow include:

Nbc-2.com

Winknews.com

Mysanibel.com – The City of Sanibel’s official website

Regardless of the forecast, please exercise caution, as the weather will undoubtedly be hazardous.  Beach surf will be rough and likely create deadly rip currents, and storm surge will push water further and faster than you might expect.  Streets are expected to flood, given recent thunderstorms earlier this week, and may become impassable for cars.  Remember, “turn around…don’t drown.”  It may also be dangerous to walk in flooded streets, as downed power lines may make the water an electrocution hazard or harmful bacteria may be present.  Also, be advised that the Sanibel Causeway will be closed during sustained winds of 40 mph or higher.

When the storm passes, Sanibel tends to get tons of new shells washing ashore in the following day or two.  So stay safe so you can enjoy it!