Beryl Might Flood Southeast US Coast on Memorial Day Weekend

Subtropical storm Beryl was trekking fast toward the Southeast coast early Sunday, raising fears of flooding from northeast Florida to parts of the Carolinas and disrupting the plans of Memorial Day beachgoers.

The Georgia coastline and parts of Florida and South Carolina had been issued tropical storm warnings, and Beryl was expected to make landfall as early as Sunday night, according to the National Hurricane Center.

At 5 a.m. EDT Sunday, the forecaster said Beryl was centered about 175 miles southeast of Savannah, and the system with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph was moving toward the west-southwest at 10 mph – 3 mph faster than hours earlier.

Though officially classified as a "subtropical storm," Beryl was expected to bring winds and rain to the area. Forecasters warned it might cause about 6 inches of rain along the coastal area, possibly leading to floods.

However, Beryl was not expected to increase in strength before it makes landfall, after which the storm system might weaken to a depression Monday, forecaster added.

Beryl could disrupt plans of numerous tourists to spend the Memorial Day weekend on the beaches and wilderness areas in the region.

"A three-day thunderstorm is what it's probably going to be," said Jay Wiggins, emergency management director for Glynn County, which is about 60 miles south of Savannah and includes Brunswick and St. Simons Island in Georgia. "Unfortunately, it's going to ruin a lot of Memorial Day plans," The Associated Press quoted him as saying.

Wiggins added the storm could cause some flooding along roadways and scattered power outages. He urged beachgoers to beware of dangerous rip currents.

Dangerous surf conditions, including rip currents, were possible from northeast Florida to North Carolina in the coming hours, forecasters said.