Tropical Depression Grace drenched earthquake-damaged Haiti on Monday, threatening to dump up to 15 inches (38 centimeters) of rain on a landscape where people are huddling in fields and searching for survivors. Tropical Storm Fred grew stronger as it closed in on Florida’s coast, and a third tropical system was swirling around Bermuda.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Fred’s maximum sustained winds increased to 65 mph (100 kph) as its center moved within 35 miles (60 km) of Apalachicola, Florida, moving toward the coastal city at 9 mph (15 kph). Landfall was expected Monday afternoon on a path that will bring heavy rains to a swath of southeastern U.S. this week.
Grace, meanwhile, was moving over Haiti’s Tiburon Peninsula with top winds of 35 mph (55 kph), bearing down on the disaster area with what forecasters said could total 10 inches (25 centimeters) of steady rainfall, and still more in isolated areas. The hurricane center warned that flash floods and mudslides were possible, especially along Hispaniola’s southern coasts.
The oncoming storm couldn’t come at a worse time for Haitians struggling to deal with the effects of Saturday’s 7.2 magnitude earthquake, blamed for an estimated 1,300 deaths.