July 19, 2024

Brighton Journal

Complete News World

Warning in US: Storm Beryl turns toward Houston and could make landfall as Category 2 hurricane

Warning in US: Storm Beryl turns toward Houston and could make landfall as Category 2 hurricane
On Saturday, July 6, 2024, visitors pass a closed restaurant before Beryl in Port Aransas, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Kay)

Tropical Storm Beryl could become a Category 2 hurricane when it makes landfall in the Houston area The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said it was moving northwestward and strengthening in the Gulf of Mexico early Monday morning.

The storm is expected to re-strengthen to a Category 1 hurricane on Sunday as it moves over warmer waters and moves north-northwest in the afternoon. The NHC has issued hurricane warnings for much of the Texas coast.

The storm closed or restricted shipping at several ports in cities from Houston to Corpus Christi, a major U.S. crude oil export hub. The shutdowns will disrupt crude oil exports, crude oil exports to refineries and motor fuel from these plants.

Temperatures in the region are expected to cross 32 degrees Celsius in the coming days, including a high of 42 on Sunday. A flash flood warning was issued for parts of East Texas early Sunday morning ahead of the storm, which had maximum winds of 60 mph.

Earlier this week, the storm intensified to a Category 5 at one point. It left a trail of destruction across the Caribbean. It hit Jamaica, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and unleashed heavy rain in northern Venezuela. It destroyed buildings, downed power lines and trees, killing at least 11 people.

“Hopefully the storm will come Make landfall somewhere along the Texas coast sometime on MondayIf the current forecast is correct,” said Jack Bevan, senior hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami. “If it does, it will most likely be a Category 1 hurricane.”

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As of Saturday night, Beryl was about 330 miles (535 kilometers) southeast of Corpus Christi and had maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph), according to the National Hurricane Center. It moved northwest at a speed of 20 kmph.

Visitors fill the beaches of Port Aransas, Texas, Saturday, July 6, 2024, ahead of Hurricane Beryl’s landfall. (AP Photo/Eric Kay)

Beryl, an earlier storm that became a Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic, caused at least 11 deaths as it passed through the Caribbean earlier in the week. It hit Mexico as a Category 2 hurricane, uprooting trees but causing no injuries or deaths, then weakened to a tropical storm as it crossed the Yucatan Peninsula.

Texas officials warned people up and down the coast to prepare Possible flooding, heavy rain and wind.

Lt. Gov. Don Patrick issued a precautionary disaster declaration for 121 counties while Gov. Greg Abbott visited Taiwan.

“Beryl is a confirmed storm, and the incoming winds and possible flooding will pose a serious threat to Texans in Beryl’s path, and as it moves across the state over the next 24 hours,” Patrick said in the statement.

A picture of the track of the hurricane.

Some coastal cities required voluntary evacuations in low-lying, flood-prone areas, banned beach camping and urged tourists traveling over the July 4 holiday weekend to remove recreational vehicles from coastal parks.

Matagorta County spokesman Mitch Thames said authorities issued a voluntary evacuation order for coastal areas of the county, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southwest of Houston.

“Our No. 1 goal is the health and safety of our visitors and, of course, our residents. I’m not worried about our residents. The people who live there are used to it, they understand it,” Thames said.

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In Corpus Christi, officials asked visitors to minimize their trips and return home as soon as possible. Residents were advised to protect their homes, board windows if necessary and use sandbags to protect them from flooding.

A July 1, 2024 file photo shows a view from the eye of Hurricane Beryl during a satellite image from the Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch (RAMMB) at Colorado State University (CSU) and the Cooperative Institute for Atmospheric Research (CIRA). Passing through the Caribbean. EFE/RAMMB/CIRA/CSU

Traffic at the downtown Ace Hardware store has been near non-stop for the past three days as customers buy tarps, rope, duct tape, sandbags and generators, employee Elizabeth Landry said Saturday.

“They worry about wind and rain. “They want to prepare just in case.”

“There’s definitely a lot of buzz about the storm coming,” said Ben Koutsoumbaris, general manager of Island Market on Corpus Christi’s Padre Island, adding that customers are stocking up on food and drinks, especially meat and beer.

In Refugio County, north of Corpus Christi, authorities issued a mandatory evacuation order for its 6,700 residents.

Before reaching Mexico, Beryl wreaked havoc in Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Barbados. Three people died in Grenada, three in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, three in Venezuela and two in Jamaica.

(With information from Reuters and AP)