Texas Braces for Beryl, With Over a Million Under a Hurricane Warning

As Tropical Storm Beryl makes its way up the Gulf of Mexico, Texas is bracing itself for the storm to make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane on its coast, with several counties issuing evacuation notices and over a million residents under a hurricane warning early Sunday morning.

The storm, which has set records as the earliest Category 4 and 5 hurricane to form in the Atlantic Ocean, flattened islands in the Caribbean and left several dead this past week. After making landfall in Mexico, Beryl weakened to a tropical storm. But it is expected to strengthen to a Category 1 hurricane before making landfall again on Texas’ shores on Monday morning.

Beryl had maximum sustained winds of 60 miles per hour as it crossed the Gulf of Mexico early Sunday, according to the National Hurricane Center, and could bring damaging hurricane-force winds, life-threatening storm surge and heavy rains to the southern and central parts of the Texas coast. The center predicts that tropical storm conditions will begin Sunday night, with hurricane conditions possible by early Monday.

Forecasters say the storm could dump five to 10 inches of rainfall across portions of the Gulf Coast and eastern Texas; some areas could get as much as 15 inches. Storm surge could raise water levels by up to six feet. Corpus Christi is one of the cities most at risk, and it could be battered by damaging winds of 58 miles per hour or greater as early as Sunday afternoon.

Texas officials are preparing for the storm’s impact, with the state having issued a disaster declaration for 121 counties. The declaration enables state resources to assist in local preparation and recovery efforts.

The Texas Division of Emergency Management has also readied the National Guard, search and rescue teams and other emergency responders ahead of the storm.

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