Hurricane Beryl Threatens Texas Coast After Ravaging Caribbean and Mexico

Hurricane Beryl Threatens Texas Coast After Ravaging Caribbean and Mexico

Beryl Threatens Texas Coast After Ravaging Caribbean and Mexico

Texas officials are urging coastal residents to prepare for a potential impact from Tropical Storm Beryl as it is expected to regain hurricane strength in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The storm, which has already caused at least 11 deaths as it passed through the Caribbean islands earlier this week, is forecasted to make landfall on the Texas coast sometime Monday.

Beryl, the earliest storm to develop into a Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic, battered Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula as a Category 2 hurricane before weakening to a tropical storm. Despite the destruction left in its wake, there have been no reported injuries or deaths in Mexico. However, the storm toppled trees and caused power outages in the resort town of Tulum.

The National Hurricane Center has issued hurricane and storm surge watches for the Texas coast from the mouth of the Rio Grande north to San Luis Pass, less than 80 miles (130 kilometers) south of Houston. Texas officials have warned the state's entire coastline to brace for possible flooding, heavy rain, and wind as they wait for a more defined path of the storm.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, acting governor while Gov. Greg Abbott is traveling in Taiwan, has issued a pre-emptive disaster declaration for 40 counties in anticipation of Beryl's arrival. Some coastal cities have called for voluntary evacuations in low-lying areas prone to flooding, banned beach camping, and urged tourists to move recreational vehicles from coastal parks.

Mitch Thames, a spokesman for Matagorda County, has issued a voluntary evacuation request for the 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.

In Corpus Christi, officials have asked visitors to cut their trips short and return home early if possible. Residents have been urged to secure their homes by boarding up windows if necessary and using sandbags to guard against possible flooding. The city has already distributed 10,000 sandbags in less than two hours, exhausting its supply.

Traffic has been nonstop for the past three days at an Ace Hardware in Corpus Christi as customers buy up tarps, rope, duct tape, sandbags, and generators. Employees have reported that customers are worried about the wind and rain and are preparing just in case.

As of Saturday, Beryl was about 415 miles (670 kilometers) southeast of Corpus Christi and had top sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph), moving west-northwest at 12 mph (19 kph). Before hitting Mexico and moving into the Gulf, Beryl had already spread destruction in Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Barbados this week, with 11 reported deaths across these countries.

Mexican authorities had moved some tourists and residents out of low-lying areas around the Yucatan Peninsula before landfall, but tens of thousands remained to tough out the strong winds and storm surge. Much of the area around Tulum is just a few yards (meters) above sea level.

After seeing Beryl tear through the Caribbean, residents like 37-year-old Lucía Nagera Balcaza were among those who stocked up on food and hid away in their homes. "Thank god, we woke up this morning and everything was all right," she said. "The streets are a disaster, but we're out here cleaning up."

As Beryl approaches the Texas coast, residents and officials are taking the storm seriously and preparing for the worst while hoping for the best. The storm's impact on the region will depend on its path and intensity as it moves through the Gulf of Mexico.

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Susanna Koelblin

Commercialization & Sourcing Leader Focused On Circularity

From blockchain to recycling, Susanna talks about emerging technologies and circularity topics in the fashion industry.

   
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