Tropical Storm Beryl Dumps Heavy Rains on Georgia, Florida

January 9, 2013

Tropical Storm Beryl grew weaker over the Memorial Day weekend as it cut a soggy path across the southeastern United States Monday. At around midnight Sunday night the storm swirled ashore in Florida at near hurricane strength.

Beryl is the second named storm of this year’s Atlantic Hurricane season. It has been reminding people living in hurricane-prone areas of the US to take tropical storms seriously as heavy bands of rains pounded the region. Beryl lashed the east coast from northern Florida to the southern portions of North Carolina even after it weakened to a tropical depression at around noon on Memorial Day.

Forecasters are concerned that the slow moving storm which continues to dump heavy rainfall from northern Florida to southern North Carolina could result in widespread flooding. Beryl is expected to dump up to ten inches of rain on some parts of northern Florida and southeast Georgia while some areas could see even more – so says the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

When Beryl made landfall near Jacksonville Sunday night, it packed winds of 70 miles per hour which is just shy of the 74 miles per hour threshold that would have made it a Category 1 hurricane. Forecasters expect the storm to push back out over the ocean Tuesday – posing no threat to oil and gas installations in the Gulf. The storm knocked trees and powerlines down which resulted in power outages in portions of Florida after coming ashore. About 21,000 people lost power Sunday night in the Jacksonville area. The storm also plunged sections of southeast Georgia into darkness overnight Sunday.

Beryl put an end to many Memorial Day outdoor activities across the southeastern US and cut short weekend plans for scores of boaters, campers and swimmers. The good news is that no serious injuries or deaths have been reported thus far from Beryl.

Beryl followed the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane season’s first named storm Alberto, which was the earliest forming Atlantic storm in nine years. The hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th although it is not uncommon for storms to form before that.

The National Weather Service stated Monday that tropical storm conditions will continue along the southeastern coastline Tuesday with tropical storm-forced winds being possible as well as heavy bands of rain. High tides could result in coastal flooding of up to two feet along the coasts of Georgia and Florida. Dangerous rip currents are also expected from Florida to the coastline of North Carolina.

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