Beryl Makes Landfall in Texas, Leaving At Least Two Dead

At least two people have died after Hurricane Beryl made landfall along the Texas coast as a Category 1 storm early Monday.

While Beryl has been downgraded to a tropical storm, its brought torrential downpours and wind gusts measuring 70 mph as of 10 a.m. Eastern Time on Monday—though gusts were as high as 90 mph in Freeport and San Bernard earlier in the day. The storm has also  caused trees to fall on homes, which killed one adult male, and one 74-year-old female.

More than 2.5 million customers reported power outages in the Southeastern Texas area and residents are expected to remain without power until the wind dies down, acting Governor Dan Patrick said on Monday, reminding people that crews could not fix lines with such strong gusts.

At least another 11 deaths were recorded in the Caribbean, according to the Associated Press.

The National Hurricane Center warned of “life-threatening storm surge inundation” along Texas’ Port O’Conner to Sabine Pass and Matagorda Bay and Galveston Bay in a Monday advisory.

Beryl brought in six to eight inches of rain along southeastern Texas from midnight to early Monday, per the National Weather Service (NWS). Flash flooding is expected across other portions of Texas later today and local beaches will also experience moderate to major flooding, with water expected to reach some low-lying roadways, the NWS reports. More than 120 Texas counties are under a disaster declaration as officials urge people to stay off the roads. Some 2,500 emergency responders and 1,200 assets have been deployed across the state in anticipation of the storm’s damage. Responders received nearly 20 calls for water rescues since 6 a.m. today, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Heavy rainfall of anywhere from 3 to 5 inches is also expected to affect southeastern Oklahoma, Arkansas, and southern Missouri into Tuesday.

Beryl is now moving through eastern Texas where it will weaken as it traverses inland. Meteorologists predict the storm will spread to the Mississippi and Ohio valleys on Tuesday and Wednesday. The storm is expected to become a post-tropical cyclone by Tuesday.

Tornado watches are also in effect along east Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas.

Beryl was previously labeled as a Category 5 Hurricane that wrecked havoc in the Caribbean, destroying 95% of homes on the islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Beryl later weakened to a Category 3 storm by the time it reached Mexico, but still forced evacuations along coastal hotels near Tulum.

Experts called the storm “unprecedented” because it arrived so early in the hurricane season, signaling the effects of climate change on this extreme weather event.

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