Texas under hurricane watch after Beryl makes landfall on Yucatan (2024)

Cybele Mayes-Osterman,Doyle Rice,Dinah Voyles PulverUSA TODAY

Editor's Note: This page is a summary of news on Beryl for Friday, July 5. For the latest, see our story for Saturday, July 6.

Hurricane Beryl made landfall on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on Friday morning after it ripped through Jamaica and the Caribbean earlier this week, leaving 11 dead as southern Texas and the Gulf Coast brace for the storm's arrival this weekend.

Beryl weakened to a tropical storm with 60 mph as it moved across the Yucatan, but now that the center of the storm is over the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center forecast calls for Beryl to re-strengthen. By 11 p.m. C.T. Friday, Beryl was about 615 miles southeast of Corpus Christi, with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph.

The center extended a watch for the Texas coast, meaning hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours. The watch now stretches from the mouth of the Rio Grande eastward to San Luis Pass. A hurricane watch is also in effect for mainland Mexico from the Rio Grande south to Barra el Mezquital.

The center's forecast cone graphic shows Beryl with winds of 90 mph as it nears the coast Monday somewhere between the Texas/Mexico border and Galveston. The entire coast of Texas lies within the forecast cone – which indicates the likely path of the center of the storm over the next five days.

A storm surge watch is also in effect for almost the entire Texas coast, from the mouth of the Rio Grande to High Island.

Additional watches and warnings along the U.S. coast could be possible later, the center stated.

Hurricane Beryl expected to move over southern Texas

It may take 12-24 hours before the hurricane begins to reintensify again as it recovers from its trip across the Yucatan and copes with some windy conditions, the hurricane center said Friday.

The winds are forecast to become more favorable as Beryl moves into the western Gulf and Beryl is forecast to become a hurricane within about 36 hours, the hurricane center said. The risk of hurricane-force winds and life-threatening storm surge are increasing along the coast and flooding is possible along the Texas coast and eastern Texas through the middle of the week.

Beryl is forecast to produce 5-10 inches of rainfall in Texas, with up to 15 inches in isolated locations, across portions of the coast and in eastern Texas beginning late Sunday through the middle of next week, the hurricane center said. The storm also is forecast to deliver a storm surge amounts of 2-5 feet along the coast and dangerous rip currents.

More: Hurricane Beryl tracker: See projected path, spaghetti models of storm as it hits Mexico

"Today and Saturday will be our calm before the storm," the National Weather Service in Corpus Christi wrote in an advisory Friday.

Beryl's effects are expected to flare up Friday evening, including a high risk of rip currents, the center said. By Saturday, the coast could see some minor flooding as some showers begin ahead of the hurricane's arrival.

Residents should make "preparedness plans," forecasters said.

Multiple large urban areas in Texas, including Houston, Austin and San Antonio, lie in the storm's broad path of projection, according to a Friday morning advisory from the weather service.

In Houston, locally heavy rainfall is the "primary severe weather threat" as Beryl makes landfall near or on the South Texas coast Sunday night or early Monday and works its way generally northwestward into Wednesday, the weather service said.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott directed the state's Division of Emergency Management to increase its readiness level for the storm on Thursday.

"As Texans and visitors around the south coastal areas begin to celebrate our nation's Independence Day, I urge them to make an emergency plan, review hurricane evacuation routes, and continue to monitor weather conditions to ensure the safety of themselves and their loved ones," he wrote in a news release.

Forecasters are uncertain whether the storm will reach Austin, weather service meteorologist Mack Morris told the Austin American-Statesman, part of the USA TODAY Network, on Thursday. By the time the storm hits Texas, it could be downgraded to a Category 1 storm, he said.

Hurricane CenterDirector Michael Brennan warned Texans to keep checking forecasts through the holiday weekend. If Beryl affects the western Gulf of Mexico as a tropical storm, "it could be during the day Saturday," he said.

'Yesterday was scary, but … we are good'

A light rain in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, midday Friday settled Gabi Vasquez' worries about the hurricane's effects.

Her car maintenance company put up ads on social media offering to repair houses and property damaged in the storm. As of noon local time, no calls had yet come in.

"Yesterday was scary, but right now, we are good," she said.

Her family, who live in Tulum, also reassured her that they were safe. Their electricity had even stayed on. "Internet – I think they don't have it, but it's all good," she said.

Vasquez did her own preparation for Beryl's arrival, including securing her home's windows and doors. "Also, we bought food like tuna, water and candles," she said.

Live cam: Hurricane Beryl

More: Sheryl Lee Ralph shelters in Jamaica ahead of Hurricane Beryl: 'Stay inside'

Some flights canceled in Cancun as Hurricane Beryl approaches

More than 1,170 temporary shelters were installed throughout the Yucatan Peninsula ahead of the storm, according to a news release Thursday from the state's government. The Tulum International Airport shut down and was set to remain closed until Sunday. Cancun Airport was operational, but many flights were canceled.

Beryl strengthened to become the earliest Category 5 storm on record earlier this week. It brought widespread devastation as it passed over the Caribbean Sea.

On Thursday, the storm barreled through Grand Cayman, the largest of the Cayman islands. It touched down in Jamaica the day before as a Category 4 hurricane, triggering power outages, destroying structures, and forcing hundreds into emergency shelters.

Officials updated the storm's death toll to 11 on Thursday but said news of more deaths probably would come in as communications were restored.

Watch: Record-breaking Hurricane Beryl charges west toward Jamaica

Task force deployed as U.S. embassy closes

The U.S. Embassy in Mexico expected to shutter its doors Friday, with plans to reopen Monday.

Mexico's government established a "prevention zone" across the part of the Yucatan's coastline under hurricane warnings. Dozens of rivers and dams throughout the areas were being monitored, according to a news release Wednesday.

A task force of 8,535 response elements and 727 vehicles will be deployed, Tania Patricia Ramírez Gutiérrez, director of Mexico's National Communication Center, said in the news release.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador advised people to seek high altitudes and take shelter in a post on X .

"Let us not hesitate, material things can be recovered," he wrote. "The most important thing is life."

Jamaica, Caribbean islands assess damage, deaths from Hurricane Beryl

Hurricane Beryl's arrival in Mexico comes after it left widescale destruction on its path through the Caribbean.

The storm caused the deaths of at least 11 people in Jamaica, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and northern Venezuela.

Jamaica confirmed two deaths in the hurricane, Prime Minister Andrew Holness told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. in an interview Thursday. One body had not been recovered, Holness said.

"The report is that that person was swept out to sea, but we're still seeking to see if we could recover the body," he said.

One person in the parish of Hanover was killed by a downed tree, Richard Thompson, deputy director general of Jamaica's Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, said.

Holness said officials were working to assess the damage sustained by the island. "We have now transitioned from the preparedness phase into the recovery phase," he said.

More than 90% of all homes and buildings on three islands within the Grenadine Island chain were destroyed by the hurricane when it tore through earlier this week, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency said Wednesday. St. Vincent and the Grenadines "bore the brunt of Hurricane Beryl," said Elizabeth Riley, the disaster management agency's executive director.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines could be at risk of food shortages after the storm destroyed half of the island's plantain and banana crops, Permanent Agriculture Ministry Secretary Nerissa Gittens-McMillan said.

Grenada Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell called the level of destruction in the islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique "almost Armageddon-like" in a news conference Tuesday.

"There's really nothing that can prepare you to see this level of destruction."

Contributing: Reuters

Texas under hurricane watch after Beryl makes landfall on Yucatan (2024)
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