Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Texas coast braces for possible Hurricane Beryl. The storm is expected to regain hurricane strength


HOUSTON (Reuters) – Texas officials on Saturday urged coastal residents to prepare for a possible hit from Hurricane Beryl as the storm is expected to regain hurricane strength later this week. warm water From the Gulf of Mexico.

“We expect the storm to make landfall somewhere on the Texas coast sometime Monday, if current forecasts hold true,” said Jack Beven, lead hurricane forecaster at the National Hurricane Center in Miami. “If that happens, it will likely be a Category 1 hurricane.”

First storm to develop into Category 5 hurricane In the Atlantic, Hurricane Beryl killed at least 11 people as it barreled through the Caribbean earlier in the week. It then hit Mexico as a Category 2 HurricaneHurricane Harley David downed trees but caused no injuries or deaths before weakening to a tropical storm as it moved across the Yucatan Peninsula.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Beryl was expected to strengthen before making landfall, prompting an expanded hurricane and storm surge warning. A hurricane warning is expected to be issued Sunday, Beven said.

He added that the storm will bring a dangerous storm surge that will flood parts of the Texas coast, hurricane-force winds to a small area, and tropical storm conditions with heavy rain to much of the rest of the Texas coast.

The center warned that there is an “increased risk of hurricane-force winds and life-threatening storm surges in portions of northeastern Mexico and the lower and central Texas coast late Sunday and Monday.”

Officials in Texas warned the entire coast of the state of possible flooding, heavy rain and winds as they waited for a more definitive path for the storm. The hurricane center issued hurricane and storm surge warnings for the Texas coast from the mouth of the Rio Grande north to the San Luis Pass, less than 80 miles (130 kilometers) south of Houston.

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The National Hurricane Center said Hurricane Beryl was about 460 miles (740 kilometers) southeast of Corpus Christi on Saturday with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph). It was moving west-northwest at 12 mph (19 kph).

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who is acting governor while Gov. Greg Abbott travels to Taiwan, has issued a preemptive disaster declaration for 40 counties.

Some coastal Texas cities called for voluntary evacuations in low-lying areas prone to flooding, banned beach camping and urged tourists traveling on the Fourth of July weekend to move recreational vehicles from coastal parks.

Matagorda County spokesman Mitch Timms said Saturday that officials had issued a voluntary evacuation order for coastal areas of the county about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southwest of Houston to inform the large number of visitors in the area for the holiday weekend.

“You always plan for the worst and hope for the best. I certainly don’t want to ruin the weekend for our visitors. But at the same time, our number one goal is the health and safety of all our visitors and of course our residents. I’m not too worried about our residents. These people who live there, they’re used to it, they understand it,” Thiemes said.

In Corpus Christi, officials asked visitors to cut short their trips and return home early if possible. Officials asked residents to secure their homes by closing windows if necessary and using sandbags to protect against possible flooding.

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

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Beryl is already widespread. Destruction in JamaicaSt. Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados this week. Officials reported three deaths in Grenada, three in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, three in Venezuela and two in Jamaica.

Mexican authorities had moved some tourists and residents from low-lying areas around the Yucatan Peninsula before the hurricane made landfall, but tens of thousands remained there to endure strong winds and storm surges. Much of the area around Tulum is just a few meters above sea level.

The city was plunged into darkness as the storm knocked out power as it came ashore. Strong winds set off sirens in cars across the city. Wind and rain continued to batter the coastal city and surrounding areas Friday morning. Army brigades patrolled the streets of the tourist city, clearing downed trees and power lines.

After seeing Beryl tear through the Caribbean, 37-year-old Lucia Najera Balcasa was among those who stocked up on food and hid in their homes.

“Thank God, we woke up this morning and everything was fine. The streets are a disaster, but here we clean them up,” she said.

Although no deaths or injuries were reported, nearly half of the city of Tulum remained without power, said Laura Velasquez, Mexico’s civil protection coordinator.


Contributing to this report were Juan Lozano from Houston; John Myers Jr. and Renloy Trail from Kingston, Jamaica; Mark Stevenson and Megan Ganetsky from Mexico City; Coral Murphy Marcos from San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Lucanus Olivier from Union Island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

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Rainerio Manuel
Rainerio Manuel

"Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst."