MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Tropical Depression Beryl spent most of Memorial Day weakening, but that is not stopping the storm from dumping much needed rain across the drought-stricken areas of North Florida and Southern Georgia.
The storm made landfall in Florida early Monday near Jacksonville Beach around 12:10 a.m. with near-hurricane-strength winds of 70 mph (113 kph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.
The weather system was expected to continue dumping rain over parts of Florida and Georgia on Monday. It was forecast to weaken as it moves inland Monday and Tuesday, and as a frontal system comes down from the Great Lakes, Beryl was expected to move out into the Atlantic Ocean.
At 5 p.m., the storm was 10 miles (80 kilometers) east of Valdosta, Georgia and was moving north-northwest near 5 mph. The storm’s maximum sustained winds had decreased to 30 mph (65 kph).
Flood warnings were issued for areas in Florida around Jacksonville. Thousands in Florida were without power, The Florida Times-Union reported early Monday.
Beryl was expected to bring 4 to 8 inches of rain to parts, with some areas getting as much as 12 inches. Forecasters said the storm surge and high tide could bring 2 to 4 feet of flooding in northeastern Florida and Georgia, and 1 to 2 feet in southern South Carolina.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott urged Florida residents in the affected areas to “stay alert and aware.”
“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,” Scott said in a statement Sunday evening.
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