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Beryl nearing Texas coast as it continues to grow before making landfall

Last Updated 2 weeks by Amnon J. Jobi | Amnon Front Page

Tropical Storm Beryl became “better organized” as it reached the Gulf coast of Texas on Sunday, still working to reach hurricane status again before making landfall, forecasters said.

A long stretch of Texas’ shoreline from Baffin Bay to San Luis Pass was under a hurricane warning. The storm’s outer bands are expected to begin lashing the coast Sunday, while the storm’s center will likely reach land early Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Officials across the state’s coastal counties issued voluntary evacuation orders and urged Fourth of July tourists along the beaches to leave as soon as possible.

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As of Sunday morning, Beryl had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph growing only slightly from Saturday. However, the National Hurricane Center said it would continue to strengthen Sunday before making landfall.

When it does hit Texas, it will bring a life-threatening storm surge with it. Some areas could see a storm surge of six feet, and, in combination

with the tide, areas that are normally dry could flood.

Heavy rainfall totaling 5 to 10 inches will be widespread across portions of the middle and upper Texas Gulf Coast starting Sunday.

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A few tornadoes could occur along the middle and upper Texas Coast through Sunday night, and across eastern Texas and western Louisiana on Monday, the National Hurricane Center said.

Swells from the storm could lead to life-threatening rip currents at beaches across the Gulf of Mexico for a few days after the storm has passed.

Beryl was the earliest storm to develop into a Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic, causing deadly devastation in the southeastern Caribbean. It’s been blamed for at least 11 deaths across the Windward Islands, leveling most homes and buildings on several of the islands.

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The storm weakened after hitting Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula as a Category 2 hurricane on Friday. But, the warm waters of the Gulf are giving it fuel to become a hurricane again.

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