Texas on alert as Beryl churns closer; landfall as hurricane likely (2024)

Editor's note: Read USA TODAY's live coverage of Beryl for Sunday, July 7, including the storm's track as it heads toward Texas.

Beryl, once ahurricaneand now a tropical storm, is expected to regain hurricane strength before it hitsthe south Texas coastlate Sunday or early Monday, the National Hurricane Center said Saturday.

The storm weakened after making landfall on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula Friday morning, after it plowed through the Caribbean and Jamaica earlier this week killing at least 11 people.

“This is a determined storm that is still strong,” TexasLt. Gov. Dan Patrick said at a news briefing on Friday.

At 4 p.m. local time, Beryl was about 385 miles southeast of Corpus Christi in the Gulf of Mexico, traveling west-northwest at 13 mph. It was expected to continue moving northwest into Sunday, then north-northwest by Sunday night, and make landfall on the Texas coast Monday after re-strengthening to a Category 1 hurricane.

On Saturday, Beryl's winds reached up to 60 mph, with higher gusts.

Hurricane, tropical storm and storm surge watches and warnings were issued Saturday along Texas' Gulf Coast, the hurricane center said. Storm surge in Texas could reach as high as 6 feet from Mesquite Bay to Sargent and Matagorda Bay.

Tornadoes are possible Sunday, and rainfall totals were forecast between 5 to 10 inches, with as much as 15 inches in some locations.

"This rainfall will likely produce areas of flash and urban flooding, some of which may be locally considerable," the hurricane center said. "Minor to isolated moderate river flooding is also possible."

Beryl tracker:See projected path, spaghetti models of path toward Texas

A stunning storm:As Hurricane Beryl tears through the Caribbean, a look at its record-breaking path

Key developments:

∎ At least 11 people were killed inJamaica, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and northern Venezuela after Beryl tore through, officials have said. There were no casualties in Mexico.

∎ Beryl, the first hurricane of the 2024 Atlantic season, becamethe earliest Category 5 hurricane on record. With its rapid intensification, Beryl became a hurricane within 24 hours of formation. Within another 24 hours, its winds had increased 55 mph, reaching 130 mph, almost a Category 4 hurricane.

Schools near Texas' coast canceled class activities on Monday, including the Corpus Christi and West Oso school districts. Del Mar College will close its campus on Monday, while Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi will shift to remote status.

How ocean temps have fueled Beryl:Hurricane super-charged by warm seas

'Beat the rush,' be prepared, hardware store owner says

Shop now, not later. That's what Raoul Martinez, who owns a hardware store in Corpus Christi, Texas, reminded his customers Saturday as Beryl took a turn toward the city.

"GET EVERY BATTERY CHARGED in your household," Martinez posted from the No Hassle Tools and More Facebook page early Saturday. "Have a chainsaw on hand to cut away any debris. Cut your grass now so it don’t grow like crazy. Tie down kids playgrounds and animal houses."

Worried but calm customers were buying necessities, he told USA TODAY. Martinez vowed his store will be open through the storm as long he can reach it safely.

"There are people who are going to be in need and we will never know until it happens," he said. "I have tools for everything, and I want to be at people's disposals and it's OK for me."

Martinez encouraged people to be prepared and not wait.

"Beat the rush," Martinez said. "A lot of us small businesses are taking the time out and there are little stores selling water, sand bags, and I'm at least staying open for people."

Some Texas residents asked to evacuate ahead of storm conditions

Voluntary evacuations were in place in some counties along the Texas coast.

Aransas County urged residents to evacuate but made it voluntary. Emergency officials there said anyone who lives in an RV should evacuate, as well as those in low-lying areas.

Matagorda County warned residents that floodwaters from the storm could trap them in their homes and called for voluntary evacuations in coastal areas of the county.

"The biggest concern for this situation is the coastal areas of our County. Low lying areas that normally flood are impacted," the county said in a news release on Friday.

Sandbags were being distributed in the City of Kingsville in Kleberg County as voluntary evacuation was underway in Baffin Bay, Loyola Beach and all low-lying areas of the county.

Beryl's effects could start to be felt Saturday in Texas

As Beryl strengthens over the Gulf of Mexico, forecasters said Texans will already be feeling its impact Saturday ahead of its arrival.

"The exact location of Beryl's landfall is uncertain at this point, but what's most important is that heavy rainfall, strong winds and storm surge are expected for much of the state's coastline and portions of the central Gulf Coast beginning tonight into Sunday," the Weather Prediction Center said early Saturday.

Swells and "life-threatening" surf and rip currents caused by the storm are also not far off.

Tropical storm conditions are expected to start hitting Texas' coast on Sunday night.

What areas in Texas are in Beryl's path?

Multiple large urban areas in Texas, including Houston, Austin and San Antonio, lie in the storm's broad path of projection, and it's still uncertain exactly where the hurricane will pass through. Most of the state will feel at least some impacts from the storm.

The weather service in Corpus Christi also said south Texas should prepare for power outages.

About 3 to 5 feet of storm surge is likely around areas along the coast, and "the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves," the hurricane center said. The storm surge will impact areas from Baffin Bay to San Luis Pass, Corpus Christi Bay, Matagorda Bay, between the mouth of the Rio Grande to Baffin Bay, San Luis Pass to High Island and Galveston Bay.

Heavy rain and flash flooding are some of the greatest threats, forecasters warned. About 5 to 10 inches of rain and up to 15 inches in some areas will inundate the Texas Gulf Coast and parts of eastern Texas starting late Sunday and into next week. Flooding is likely wherever Beryl passes, Patrick said.

Contributing: Cybele Mayes-Osterman, Doyle Rice and Dinah Voyles Pulver, USA TODAY; Cross Harris and Alexis Simmerman, the Austin American-Statesman; Reuters

Texas on alert as Beryl churns closer; landfall as hurricane likely (2024)
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