Hurricane Beryl ‘unleashes’ Mexico: It makes landfall in Texas and leaves more than a million people without electricity

Power outages were piling up along the Texas coast after Hurricane Beryl made landfall on Monday, July 8, hit Houston with heavy rains and powerful winds on their way inland.

More than a million customers were without electricity hours after Beryl made landfall, according to CenterPoint Energy in Houston. Floodwaters quickly blocked streets in Houston and flood warnings remained in effect for a wide stretch of the Texas coast.

Beryl was expected to weaken to a tropical storm on Monday and a tropical depression on Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. It was expected to turn northeast and begin moving faster on Monday and Tuesday. The storm made landfall in the United States after leaving a trail of destruction in Mexico and the Caribbean over the past week.

The storm made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane around 4 a.m. Central Time, about 85 miles (137 kilometers) southwest of Houston, with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph (128 kph), and was moving north at 19.3 kilometers per houraccording to the weather service. It had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 km/h) on Monday.

Water quickly began blocking roads around Houston, which was again under flood warnings after heavy storms in recent months swamped neighborhoods and caused power outages in the nation’s fourth-largest city.

More than 1,000 flights have been canceled at Houston’s two airports, according to FlightAware flight data.

Beryl dumped heavy rain on Houston after making landfall and was expected to bring dangerous winds to eastern Texas near Louisiana as it moved north.

“Beryl is moving inland, but this is not the end of the story,” said Jack Beven, a hurricane specialist with the National Hurricane Center.

The system regained strength and regained hurricane status on Sunday night. The storm had weakened after leaving a trail of deadly destruction in its wake across Mexico and the Caribbean.

The alert was maintained hurricane on the coast of Texas, from Mesquite Bay and northward to Port Bolivar, the hurricane center said.

The center of the storm was expected to move over eastern Texas on Monday and then over the lower Mississippi Valley and into the Ohio Valley on Tuesday and Wednesday, the NWS said.

People in Texas boarded up windows and moved away from coastal towns under evacuation orders. As the storm approached, authorities in Texas warned of the risk of power outages and flooding and expressed concern that not enough residents and vacationers had left Beryl’s projected path.

Beryl, the earliest hurricane to form in the Atlantic

Beryl, the earliest storm to reach Category 5 status in an Atlantic season, caused at least 11 deaths as it barreled through the Caribbean toward Texas. The storm ripped off doors, windows and roofs with devastating winds and storm surges fueled by record-breaking ocean temperatures.

Three times in his week of life, Beryl has gained 56 km/h (35 mph) wind speed in 24 hours or less, the official weather service definition of rapid intensification.

Beryl’s explosive growth into a record-breaking early storm is a reflection of high water temperatures in the Atlantic and Caribbean, and what the Atlantic hurricane belt can expect for the remainder of the storm season, experts said.

Texas authorities warned people along the entire coastline to prepare for possible flooding, heavy rain and wind. The hurricane warning extended from the bay Baffin, south of Corpus Christi, to Sargent, south of Houston.

A flash flood warning was in effect for a wide swath of the Texas coast, where forecasters expected the storm to dump up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain in some areas.

In Corpus Christi, Officials asked visitors to shorten their trips and return home early if possible. Residents were advised to secure their homes by boarding up windows if necessary and using sandbags to protect against possible flooding.

The White House said Sunday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has sent first responders, search and rescue teams, bottled water and other resources to Texas.

Several coastal counties called for voluntary evacuations in low-lying areas prone to flooding. Local officials also banned beach camping and urged tourists traveling for the Independence Day holiday to remove recreational vehicles from coastal parks.

Earlier this week, Beryl hit Mexico as a Category 2 hurricane, leaving no deaths or injuries, and then weakened to a tropical storm as it passed over the Yucatan Peninsula.

Before arriving in Mexico, Beryl caused destruction in Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados and Venezuelaleaving a total of 11 people dead.