“Once it gets into the Gulf of Mexico and all that warm water it can change really fast just like (Hurricane) Michael,” Arlene Klaas said. “It didn’t look like too much at first, because I was watching it. And as it got into the Gulf it got stronger and stronger.”
However, most residents at grocery stores were simply doing their routine shopping.
“I think most people here if you went through Michael you think ok we got this one,” Peggy Deen said. “But you never know.”
Since there is no center to Fred, it is currently considered a tropical wave. However, if it reorganizes and strengthens, it could become a Hurricane 1 in the next couple of days. Landfall is possible from Mississippi to the Panhandle.
“I would stay here through the storm,” Klaas said. “Our home is supposed to be able to withstand it. We’re gonna put our shutters up over the windows. If it’s going to be bad we’ll do that but I think we’re going to be just fine.”
While a couple of residents planned to leave the area in the coming days to avoid the tropical weather, most said they did not plan to adjust their routines.
One Panama City Beach resident, Sol Kelly, said she planned to go to work on Monday unless it was canceled. However, Kelly has evacuation plans if necessary.
“I have a little bit of stuff at my house,” Kelly said. “I just need to get water, bottled waters and that’s it. But if it’s more than three and I know, I should be prepared for just leaving.”