Tropical Storm Beryl is on a path to hit the Texas coast as a hurricane Monday (2024)

Editor's note: Hurricane Beryl made landfall near Matagorda around 4 a.m. Monday. We're providing the latest updates on damage, power outages and continued dangers here.

[Beryl updates: At least nine dead; power outages could persist for days]

Tropical Storm Beryl is expected to make landfall near Matagorda as a Category 1 hurricane early Monday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center.

As of 10 p.m. Sunday evening, Beryl's maximum wind speeds strengthened to near 70 miles per hour. State leaders have urged Texans to heed warnings from their local officials and to avoid traveling on flooded roads.

A Hurricane warning is in effect overnight on the Texas coast from Mesquite Bay to Port Bolivar, with the storm likely making landfall on the eastern side of the Matagorda County, about 70 miles south of Houston. However, weather service officials are warning of life-threatening storm surge from Mesquite Bay to Sabine Pass, south of Port Arthur. Tropical storm conditions are expected in the same area, but also extending from Mesquite Bay south to Port Mansfield.

Rip currents will cause threatening beach conditions through Monday across much of Texas’ coastal communities, forecasters said. Flash flooding is expected into Monday across the upper and middle portions of the Gulf coast and into East Texas, including in metro areas like Houston. Many Houston businesses and government buildings as well as area school districts will be closed Monday.

"You don't want to be on the road tomorrow," Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said at a Sunday news conference in Austin. Patrick is serving as acting governor as Gov. Greg Abbott travels in Asia on an economic development trip. "Tomorrow will be a bad day for weather."

State agencies, including the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas A&M Forest Service, and the Texas Department of Public Safety are prepared to assist with rescue and recovery efforts.

For the mid-Texas coast, National Weather Service forecasters in Corpus Christi warned residents that winds could be strong enough to damage roofs and mobile homes and snap trees or blow over fences. They warned people to be prepared for power outages and cell service outages.

In Houston, Mayor John Whitmire told residents to take the storm seriously, particularly in the early hours of Monday morning.

“Our worst enemy is our complacency. We can’t allow us to allow this storm to slip up on us,” he said, adding that up to 12 inches of rainfall is expected Monday morning in the Houston area. “My request, based on the best information is to stay off the roads.”

Acting Houston Police Chief Larry Satterwhite, urged bars and restaurants to close early Sunday evening.

Tropical Storm Beryl is on a path to hit the Texas coast as a hurricane Monday (1)

“Let’s get through this night, tomorrow, like only Houstonians know how,” Whitmire said.

By late Sunday, mandatory evacuation orders were issued in Refugio and Nueces counties. Brazoria County issued a mandatory evacuation order for the town of Quintana. Several other coastal communities, including parts of Galveston, have issued voluntary evacuation orders, advising residents and visitors who stay that they may not be able to leave for several hours once the storm hits.

The National Weather Service projects that areas from Corpus Christi, through Victoria and Houston, and over to Beaumont will face risk of tornados.

Some Texans will experience power outages, and there will be inland flooding, Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd said on Sunday. He encouraged residents with power-dependent family members, such as those who require electricity for medical lifelines, to ensure those people are in a safe place.

Tropical Storm Beryl is on a path to hit the Texas coast as a hurricane Monday (2)

Tropical Storm Beryl is on a path to hit the Texas coast as a hurricane Monday (3)

Heavy rain could last through Tuesday. The National Hurricane Center predicted five to 10 inches to fall in parts of the state, with up to 15 inches in some spots. Forecasters expect rainfall to result in flash and urban flooding in East Texas and along the coast.

Beryl has astounded meteorologists with its strength so early in the summer. Warmer-than-normal ocean temperatures helped Beryl rapidly strengthen into a Category 4 storm in late June — becoming the first recorded Category 4 storm to form in June, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Beryl strengthened into a Category 5 and tore across the Caribbean, causing devastation in Grenada and Jamaica. It pushed onto the Yucatan Peninsula early Friday as a Category 2 storm.

“Beryl is so out of place historically given how early in the season it is and how strong it got,” said Houston-based meteorologist Matt Lanza, who helps write a blog on tropical weather called The Eyewall. “Typically you don’t see that sort of thing until August — not the end of June, beginning of July.”

Federal forecasters expect this hurricane season, which began June 1, to be a bad one. They predicted to see 17 to 25 named storms form, which was more than they had ever forecast before a season’s start. They believed four to seven of those would be Category 3 storms or stronger.

Climate change driven by people burning fossil fuels is causing oceans to warm and makes hurricanes more likely to be stronger. Scientists also say climate change may make rapid intensification of storms more likely — as happened with Beryl.

“To look at a satellite on June the 30th or July the 1st and to see a storm of Beryl’s magnitude is almost unbelievable,” said Michael Lowry, a hurricane expert for WPLG TV in Miami.

Terri Langford and Dante Motley contributed to this report.

Reporting in the Rio Grande Valley is supported in part by the Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc.

Just in: Former U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming; U.S. Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pennsylvania; and Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt will take the stage at The Texas Tribune Festival, Sept. 5–7 in downtown Austin. Buy tickets today!

Tropical Storm Beryl is on a path to hit the Texas coast as a hurricane Monday (2024)
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