Fred may regain tropical storm strength as it nears Florida

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HAVANA (AP) — Forecasters say tropical depression Fred is slowly strengthening and could regain tropical storm status Friday. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the system is moving along the northern coast of Cuba on a forecast track toward Florida. Maximum sustained winds are around 35 mph with higher gusts. A tropical storm watch has been issued for parts of Cuba, the Florida Keys and the southwest coast of Florida. Fred became a tropical storm on Tuesday but weakened to a depression as it spun over Haiti and the Dominican Republic, where it knocked out power to some 400,000 customers and caused flooding.

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