Tropical Storm Beryl Dampens Memorial Day

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Tropical Storm Beryl brought soaking rain and high winds to northeast Florida early Monday, dampening plans for Memorial Day ceremonies and other outdoor activities.

Forecasters predicted rainfall from the storm would average from 4 to 8 inches, with up to12 inches possible for some areas.

Tropical storm warnings were issued for the Georgia coastline and parts of northeastern Florida and southern South Carolina, where forecasters predict some coastal flooding will occur.

The storm made landfall just after midnight Sunday near Jacksonville Beach, packing 70-mph winds, close to hurricane strength. But forecasters say it will weaken as it moves inland over the next 12 hours and should become a tropical depression by Monday night.

The second named storm of the upcoming hurricane season, which begins officially on June 1, spoiled Memorial Day plans for some residents of Florida and Georgia. Among the cancellations were Sunday's jazz festival and Monday's Memorial Day ceremony in Jacksonville, Florida.

Officials closed beaches for swimming on Tybee Island off the coast of Savannah, Ga., as driving winds caused dangerous surf and "horrendous water currents," fire Chief C. L. Sasser said. 

"Even if you're standing in waste-deep water, the current can sweep you out quickly," he said.

Rescuers pulled 48 people from the surf Saturday, 27 of whom were reportedly in life-threatening situations. One man, rescued by friends after being sucked underwater by the current, was transported to the hospital in serious condition.

Meanwhile, Beryl's strength is already diminishing. It's expected to make its way back out to sea by tomorrow night, thanks in part to a frontal system coming down from the Great Lakes. That's good news for beach-goers, vacationers and residents alike.

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