Hurricane Beryl targets Texas, where rain and flooding are expected

Hurricane Beryl targets Texas, where rain and flooding are expected
Hurricane Beryl targets Texas, where rain and flooding are expected

Storm Beryl became a hurricane again on Sunday night shortly before hitting the coast of Texas, in the southern United States, where some towns were evacuated due to the threat of heavy rains, flooding and power outages.

“Beryl’s maximum sustained winds have increased to near 75 mph (120 km/h). Based on this data, Beryl has been upgraded to a hurricane. Additional strengthening is expected before landfall on the Texas coast,” the National Hurricane Center said in its latest report.

Due to its characteristics, Beryl is considered a Category 1 hurricane, as those with winds between 74 to 95 miles per hour (119 to 153 km) are called.

The National Weather Service has also issued a tornado watch for parts of Texas, including Houston, a city of 2.3 million people that is near the possible path of the storm.

“We have to take Beryl very seriously,” Houston Mayor John Whitmire said at a news conference earlier Sunday.

“I want Houstonians to know that the conditions they go to sleep in at night will not be the same conditions they wake up in in the morning,” he added.

Several parts of the Texas coast were under hurricane and storm surge warnings. Beryl is expected to make landfall early Monday between the port city of Corpus Christi and Galveston Island, according to the official forecast.

Live images from a Hurricane Hunter in the town of Sargent, between Corpus Christi and Galveston, showed heavy rain and wind in the area on Sunday night.

-Evacuations-

Authorities in Nueces County, where Corpus Christi is located, have asked beachgoers to leave the city.

Meanwhile, Refugio County, neighboring Nueces, which has not yet fully recovered from the effects of Hurricane Harvey in 2017, ordered the mandatory evacuation of its residents on Saturday.

In the city of Port Lavaca, business owners boarded up windows in their stores, while Galveston, southeast of Houston, issued a voluntary evacuation order for some areas. Videos circulated on social media showing lines of cars trying to leave the city on Sunday afternoon.

Beryl left at least seven dead in the Caribbean last week: three in Grenada, where the phenomenon made landfall on Monday; one in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and three in Venezuela, according to local authorities.

But it was downgraded to a tropical storm on Friday after making landfall as a hurricane on Mexico’s tourist-friendly Riviera Maya, causing only material damage, authorities reported. It then continued toward the United States.

-on alert-

Beryl is expected to move across southeastern Texas, passing north of Houston, where all public activities were suspended on Monday.

It is then expected to continue its path and degrade back to a tropical storm on Monday afternoon before continuing northeast.

“The impact we are expecting is tropical storm force winds, flash flooding throughout our county, possible flood warnings, possible power outages, tornadoes and especially road closures (…) A lot of rain coming our way,” George Bio, a county judge in Fort Bend County, neighboring Houston, told reporters on Sunday.

“This will be a deadly storm for people who are directly in its path,” Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said at a news conference earlier in the day.

“Believe me, you wouldn’t want to be in a Category 1 storm,” he added, later admitting to a television channel that power outages would be inevitable due to the strength of the winds.

The White House said it was monitoring the situation.

Beryl is the first hurricane of the Atlantic season, which runs from early June to late November, and has impressed experts with its intensity.

Scientists believe that climate change, which is causing warmer waters, is contributing to these storms and increasing the likelihood that they will intensify rapidly.

nro/mlm/st/dg/stomach/ag/mass

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