May 28, 2012 in Nation/World

Beryl growing off East Coast

Kate Brumback Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

People crowd Wrightsville Beach in Wilmington, N.C., on Sunday as red flags warn swimmers of dangerous conditions and rip currents due to Tropical Storm Beryl.
(Full-size photo)

Tropical Storm Beryl was wrecking some Memorial Day weekend plans on Sunday, causing shoreline campers to pack up and head inland and leading to the cancellation of some events as the storm approached the southeastern U.S.

Beryl was nearing shore late Sunday night, and officials in Georgia and Florida were bracing for drenching rains and driving winds.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Beryl was approaching hurricane strength and was expected to make landfall early today.

Late Sunday, Beryl had maximum sustained winds of 70 mph, just below hurricane-strength, which is 75 mph. It was not expected to strengthen much more, and should weaken after making landfall. The hurricane center said the Jacksonville pier was already reporting winds of 50 mph. Beryl was moving westward at 10 mph.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott urged Florida residents in the affected areas to “stay alert and aware.”

Tropical storm warnings were in effect for the entire Georgia coastline, as well as parts of Florida and South Carolina.

Beryl is expected to bring 4 to 8 inches of rain, with some areas getting as much as 12 inches. Forecasters predict the storm surge and tide will cause some coastal flooding in northeastern Florida, Georgia and southern South Carolina.

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