Beryl hit Florida early Monday, and the tropical storm continues to pound the southeastern U.S. coast with ferocity. With force approaching that of a hurricane, the storm brought a torrential downpour, high winds, and it has the potential to flood lowland areas.
Beryl hit Florida Memorial Day at about 12:10 a.m. near Jacksonville Beach. It also affected areas like Duval and northern St. Johns counties with winds at about 70 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Trees were downed, leading to over 38,000 residents now reported without power across the storm areas, according to the Jacksonville Electric Authority. Florida and Georgia are still being pounded by heavy rain. Governor Rick Scott advised Florida residents to stay abreast of any reports that surface to keep themselves safe.
"Tropical Storm Beryl is expected to bring heavy rain and winds, and it is vital to continue to monitor local news reports and listen to the advice of local emergency management officials," the governor said in a statement Sunday night.
Beryl's downpour- shown as the strongest tropical cyclone in May since 1908, according to NBC News- brought 4 to 8 inches of rain in some places. Other areas central to the storm received a deluge of 12 inches. Jacksonville's Sunday jazz festival was cancelled, and Cumberland Island, Ga. campers were told to leave by 4:45 p.m. the same day.
Fortunately, there is a silver lining on the horizon. The storm is expected to lose some of its power today, and be weakened significantly Tuesday as it moves further inland.
"We're seeing about the best that Beryl has right now as far as its winds are concerned, with winds about 70 mph," forecaster Al Sandrik reported in the latter half of Sunday. "The model shows significant weakening of the storm in 12 hours."
Evidence of this is already being seen, as a tropical storm warning was discontinued for coastal areas like Flagler Beach, Fla., Edisto Beach, S.C., and north of the Savannah River in Georgia.
Some parts of Florida welcomed the rain, as the northeast part of the state is suffering from "exceptional drought," according to SavannahNow.com.