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Houston region prepares for heavy rains as Beryl approaches Texas coast

Heavy rains and some flooding for the Houston region are likely as Beryl makes its way toward the Texas coast.

Beryl, a tropical storm as of Saturday afternoon, is expected to make landfall Monday as a Category 1 hurricane somewhere between Corpus Christi and Matagorda Bay.

"We're expecting the storm to make landfall somewhere on the Texas coast sometime Monday, if the current forecast is correct," said Jack Beven, a senior hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami. "Should that happen, it'll most likely be a Category 1 hurricane."

Meteorologists are forecasting up to eight inches of rain for parts of the region on Monday and Tuesday. The center of the storm is projected to pass west of Houston.

Tropical storm level winds could be an issue for Galveston and other coastal areas south of the city. Officials are warning of the potential for two to four feet of storm surge, as well. Galveston County on Saturday issued a preemptive disaster declaration.

RELATED: Houston Public Media Hurricane and Tropical Storm Tracker

A Hurricane Watch stretches from the southern tip of Texas up to High Island.

Some Texas coastal cities called for voluntary evacuations in low-lying areas prone to flooding, banned beach camping and urged tourists traveling on the July 4 holiday weekend to move recreational vehicles from coastal parks.

Mitch Thames, a spokesman for Matagorda County, said Saturday that officials issued a voluntary evacuation request for the coastal areas of the county about 100 miles southwest of Houston to inform the large number of visitors in the area for the holiday weekend.

"You always plan for the worst and hope for the best. I certainly don't want to ruin the holiday weekend for our visitors. But at the same time, our No. 1 goal is the health and safety of all our visitors and of course our residents. I'm not so much worried about our residents. Those folks that live down there, they're used to this, they get it," Thames said.

Corpus Christi prepares

In Corpus Christi, officials asked visitors to cut their trips short and return home early if possible. Officials asked residents to secure their homes by boarding up windows if necessary and using sandbags to guard against possible flooding.

"We're taking the storm very serious and we're asking the community to take the storm very serious as well," Corpus Christi Fire Chief Brandon Wade said during a Friday evening news conference.

Traffic has been nonstop for the past three days at an Ace Hardware in Corpus Christi as customers buy up tarps, rope, duct tape, sandbags and generators, employee Elizabeth Landry said Saturday.

"They're just worried about the wind, the rain," she said. "They're wanting to prepare just in case."

Officials in Corpus Christi announced that the city had distributed 10,000 sandbags in less than two hours Friday, exhausting its supply.

On Saturday, Beryl was about 415 miles southeast of Corpus Christi and had top sustained winds of 60 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. It was moving west-northwest at 12 mph.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2024 Houston Public Media News 88.7

HPM Staff