Texas has the potential to be affected by coastal beryl. The storm is expected to regain hurricane strength

HOUSTON (AP) — Texas officials urged coastal residents Saturday to brace for the possibility of Beryl hitting as the storm is expected to regain hurricane strength. hot water of the Gulf of Mexico.

“If the current forecast is correct, we expect the storm to make landfall on the Texas coast sometime on Monday,” said Jack Bevan, senior hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami. “If it does, it will most likely be a type of hurricane.”

The initial storm develops into a Category 5 hurricane In the Atlantic, Beryl caused at least 11 deaths as it passed through the Caribbean earlier in the week. And then it hit Mexico is a category 2 hurricaneNo injuries or deaths were reported, although trees were uprooted, and it weakened to a tropical storm as it moved across the Yucatan Peninsula.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center predicts Beryl will intensify before making landfall, prompting an expanded tornado and storm surge watch that is expected to be issued Sunday, Bevan said.

The storm will bring a dangerous storm surge — flooding areas of the Texas coast — with high winds and heavy rain, he said.

“There is a risk of hurricane-force winds and life-threatening storm surge damage for parts of the lower and middle Texas coast late Sunday through Monday,” the center said in an advisory, also warning of possible flash and urban flooding in the eastern half of the state through the middle of next week.

Texas officials warned the state’s entire coastline to brace for possible flooding, heavy rain and wind as they await the storm’s still-defined path. The 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, about 80 miles (130 kilometers) south of Houston.

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On Saturday, Beryl was about 415 miles (670 kilometers) southeast of Corpus Christi and had sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph), according to the National Hurricane Center. It was moving west-northwest at 12 mph (19 kph).

Texas Lt. Gov. Don Patrick issued a disaster alert for 40 counties while Gov. Greg Abbott is traveling in Taiwan.

Some Texas coastal cities ordered voluntary evacuations in low-lying areas, banned beach camping and urged tourists traveling over the July 4 holiday weekend to move recreational vehicles away from coastal parks.

Matagorta County spokesman Mitch Thames said on Saturday that officials issued a voluntary evacuation request to the coastal areas of the county, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southwest of Houston, to inform large numbers of holiday weekend visitors.

“You always plan for the worst and hope for the best. I certainly don’t want to ruin the holiday weekend for our visitors. But at the same time, our No. 1 goal is the health and safety of our visitors and of course our residents. I’m not too worried about our residents. Those people who live down there, They get used to it and they get it,” Thames said.

In Corpus Christi, officials asked visitors to minimize their trips and return home as soon as possible. Officials asked residents to protect their homes from flooding by climbing windows and using sandbags if necessary.

“We’re taking the storm very seriously, and we’re asking the community to take the storm very seriously,” Corpus Christi Fire Chief Brandon Wade said during a news conference Friday evening.

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Beryl has already spread Destruction in Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Barbados this week. Officials reported three deaths in Grenada, three in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, three in Venezuela and two in Jamaica.

Mexican authorities evacuated some tourists and residents from low-lying areas around the Yucatan Peninsula, but tens of thousands were left stranded by strong winds and storm surge. Most of the area around Tulum is a few yards (meters) above sea level.

As the storm made landfall, the city was plunged into darkness due to power outages. Howling winds set off car alarms across the city. Wind and rain continued to lash the coastal city and surrounding areas on Friday morning. Army squads took to the streets of the tourist town to remove fallen trees and power lines. There were no casualties or injuries.

Lucia Nagera Balcaza, 37, was among those who stockpiled food and hid in their homes after seeing the beryl ripped apart in the Caribbean.

“Thank God, we woke up this morning and everything is fine,” he said. “The streets are a disaster, but we’re cleaning up here.”

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Verduno reported from Austin, Texas. Associated Press writer Martin Silva in Tulum, Mexico, contributed to this report.

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