SAVANNAH, Ga. - While it left little damage after sweeping ashore with 70-mile-per-hour winds early Monday at Jacksonville, Fla., the remnants of Tropical Storm Beryl flooded roads, cut power, and dumped heavy rain along the Georgia and Florida coastline.
The storm, downgraded to a tropical depression after making landfall, also canceled or soaked holiday trips, backyard barbecues, and graveside observances.
Lifeguards turned swimmers away from the ocean because of dangerous rip currents from Jacksonville to Tybee Island, Georgia’s largest public beach 140 miles to the north. The ocean was declared off-limits to swimmers.
Georgia Power reported about 2,900 coastal customers without power Monday morning, but that number dropped to 1,300 by afternoon. Jacksonville city officials say 20,000 were without power, and bus service was canceled because of so many flooded roads and downed power lines and trees.
Veterans groups carried out outdoor Memorial Day ceremonies despite the rain. At Savannah’s historic Bonaventure Cemetery, American Legion members worked through a downpour to make sure veterans’ plots had an American flag planted by each headstone.
Aside from ruining holiday plans, the rain was welcome on the Georgia coast for bringing some relief from persistent drought. According to the state climatologist’s office, as of May 1, rainfall in Savannah was 15 inches below normal for the past 12 months.