Beryl is predicted to regain hurricane strength before making landfall in Texas

HOUSTON (AP) — Authorities in Texas on Saturday urged coastal residents to organize for a possible storm from Beryl because the storm is predicted to regain hurricane strength in the nice and cozy waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Beryl was the primary storm to grow to be a Category 5 hurricane within the Atlantic, killing no less than 11 people because it moved across the Caribbean islands earlier this week. It then hit Mexico as a Category 2 hurricane, pulling down trees but causing no injuries or deaths before weakening to a tropical storm because it moved across the Yucatan Peninsula.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center predicts Beryl will strengthen before making landfall, prompting enhanced hurricane and storm surge warnings. Beven said a hurricane warning is predicted to be issued on Sunday.

The storm will bring dangerous storm surge that may inundate parts of the Texas coast, hurricane-force winds in a small area and tropical storm conditions with heavy rains across much of the remainder of the Texas coast, he said.

“There is an increasing risk of destructive hurricane-force winds and life-threatening storm surge across parts of northeast Mexico and the lower and central Texas coast late Sunday and Monday,” the middle warned.

Texas authorities issued a warning to the complete state coast, warning them to organize for possible flooding, heavy rain and wind while they wait for a more defined path of the storm. The hurricane center has issued hurricane and storm surge warnings for the Texas coast from the mouth of the Rio Grande north to San Luis Pass, lower than 80 miles south of Houston.

On Saturday, Beryl was positioned about 460 miles southeast of Corpus Christi and had sustained winds of 60 mph, in line with the National Hurricane Center. It was moving west-northwest at 12 mph.

Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who’s acting governor during Governor Greg Abbott's trip to Taiwan, has declared a state of emergency for 40 counties as a precautionary measure.

Some coastal cities in Texas called for voluntary evacuations of low-lying, flood-prone areas, banned camping on the beach and asked tourists traveling over the Fourth of July holiday weekend to remove their RVs from coastal parks.

Mitch Thames, a Matagorda County spokesman, said Saturday that authorities had issued a voluntary evacuation request for coastal areas of the county about 100 miles southwest of Houston to notify the big number of tourists in the realm over the vacation weekend.

“You always expect the worst and hope for the best. I certainly don't want to spoil the holiday weekend for our visitors. But at the same time, the health and safety of all our visitors and of course our residents is our number one priority. I'm not so worried about our residents. The people who live down there are used to it, they understand it,” Thames said.

In Corpus Christi, authorities urged visitors to cancel their trips and return home as early as possible. Authorities urged residents to secure their homes by boarding up windows if needed and using sandbags to guard them from possible flooding.

“We are taking the storm very seriously and asking the public to take the storm very seriously as well,” Corpus Christi Fire Chief Brandon Wade said during a press conference Friday evening.

Beryl has already caused devastation in Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados this week. Officials say three people have been killed in Grenada, three in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, three in Venezuela and two in Jamaica.

Mexican authorities had evacuated some tourists and residents from low-lying areas across the Yucatan Peninsula before landfall, but tens of 1000’s stayed to brave the strong winds and storm surge. Much of the realm around Tulum lies just a number of meters above sea level.

As the storm got here ashore, the town's power supply failed. Howling winds set off automotive alarms throughout the town. Wind and rain were still lashing the coastal city and surrounding areas on Friday morning. Army brigades roamed the streets of the tourist town, clearing downed trees and power lines.

Although there have been no reports of deaths or injuries, nearly half of Tulum stays without electricity, said Laura Velázquez, national coordinator of Mexican civil protection.


Silva reported from Tulum, Mexico, and Vertuno from Austin, Texas. Associated Press writers Juan Lozano in Houston, John Myers Jr. and Renloy Trail in Kingston, Jamaica, Mark Stevenson and Megan Janetsky in Mexico City, Coral Murphy Marcos in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Lucanus Ollivierre in Union Island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, also contributed to this report.

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