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

TULUM, Mexico (AP) — Texas officials are urging coastal residents to brace for the possibility of Beryl hitting as the storm is expected to regain hurricane strength.

Since defeating Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Beryl has returned to the team hot water The hurricane was expected to strengthen in the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday.

“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 hurricaneTrees were downed, but no injuries or deaths were reported before it weakened into a tropical storm as it moved across the peninsula.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center predicted Beryl would intensify Saturday before making landfall late Friday, prompting an expanded tornado and storm surge watch. A tornado warning is expected to be issued later Sunday, Bevan said.

The storm is a dangerous storm surge, bringing tropical storm conditions with flooding to parts of the Texas coast, hurricane-force winds to a small area and heavy rain to other parts of the Texas coast, he said.

“There is an increasing risk of hurricane-force winds and life-threatening storm surge damage along the coast of northeastern Mexico and lower and middle Texas late Sunday and Monday,” the center warned.

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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. On Friday, the hurricane center issued hurricane and storm surge watches for the Texas coast from the Rio Grande north to San Luis Pass, less than 80 miles (128.75 kilometers) south of Houston.

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

“Everybody along the (Texas) coast needs to pay attention to this storm,” Patrick said. “We believe, we are nothing more than a rain event.”

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. In Corpus Christi, city officials announced that they had distributed 10,000 sandbags within two hours on Friday, when the supply was exhausted.

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.

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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.”

Although no deaths or injuries were reported, nearly half of Tulum was without power, said Laura Velázquez, national coordinator of the Mexican Civil Defense.

While many on the Yucatan Peninsula are taking a deep breath, Jamaica and other hurricane-ravaged islands are still reeling. Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness promised residents quick relief after visiting the southern parish of St. Elizabeth, one of the island’s worst-hit areas, on Thursday.

Before the storm hit Mexico, officials had set up shelters in schools and hotels. As winds began to blow on Tulum’s beaches on Thursday, officers on four-wheelers drove around the sand with megaphones to tell people to leave and officials evacuated beach hotels. Sea turtle eggs They were even moved from beaches threatened by storm surges.

Tourists also took precautions. Laura Marsters, 54, a therapist visiting Tulum from Boise, Idaho, said she filled empty water bottles from the faucet.

“We’re going to hide and be safe,” he said.

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Verduno reported from Austin, Texas. Associated Press writers John Myers Jr. and Renloy Trail in Kingston, Jamaica; Mark Stevenson and Megan Zanetsky in Mexico City; Coral Murphy Marcos in San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Lucanus Olivier in Union Island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines also contributed to this report.

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