By IRENE NOLAN
Storm Beryl, the second named storm of the season, formed late Friday
southeast of Cape Lookout, headed south and southwest, made landfall
near Jacksonville, Fla., on Sunday night, dropped a lot of rain on
Florida and Georgia Monday and today, then looped around back to the
north and northeast.
The National Hurricane Center predicts the storm, now a tropical
depression, will exit off the South Carolina coast early tomorrow,
regain tropical storm strength in the Gulf Stream, and head quickly to
the northeast along the North Carolina coast.
This afternoon, Beryl is west of Savannah, Ga., and heading northeast at 5 mph with winds of 30 mph.
Though there are no tropical storm watches or warnings at this point
along the Outer Banks, Wednesday promises to be a nasty day.
The local National Weather Service office in Newport, N.C., has issued
a flood watch for much of eastern North Carolina, including Hatteras
and Ocracoke, from 4 a.m. until 11 p.m. Wednesday.
Predictions are for up to four to six inches of rain, starting early
Wednesday and continuing into the night, until Beryl rapidly moves
northeast of the area.
The weather service also is forecasting gusty winds up to tropical
storm force strength along the beaches, though the heaviest winds will
remain offshore in the storm’s east and southeast quadrants.
There could be minor coastal or soundside flooding as the storm passes,
with water levels expected to be only one to two feet above normal, and
six- to 10-foot seas.
For the most up-to-date forecasts and information on the storm, go to the NWS office in Newport at http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/mhx/.