The National Weather Service had the entire 100-mile Georgia coast was under a tropical storm warning Saturday. A storm named Beryl, still categorized as sub-tropical Saturday afternoon, was forecast to make landfall between South Carolina and northern Florida by tonight or early Monday.
“A three-day thunderstorm is what it’s probably going to be,” said Jay Wiggins, emergency management director for Glynn County, which includes Brunswick and St. Simons Island. “Unfortunately, it’s going to ruin a lot of Memorial Day plans.”
Wiggins said he expects some flooded roadways and scattered power outages, perhaps some minor flooding in waterfront homes, but otherwise little damage. However, he urged beachgoers to beware of dangerous rip currents ahead of the storm’s arrival.
Forecasters were predicting 3 to 6 inches of rain in Georgia’s six coastal counties, plus a chance for 1 to 3 feet of flooding right on the coast if Beryl arrives at high tide.
The storm was approaching as veterans groups and active-duty military members planned outdoor Memorial Day services Monday and tourists were cramming the beaches for a long weekend and the unofficial kickoff of summer.
On Tybee Island, home to Georgia’s largest public beach east of Savannah, employees at Amy Gaster’s home and condo rental business were making sure arriving guests were aware of the approaching storm. Gaster said her 180 rentals were sold out and nobody was canceling plans or asking to check out early.
“Mostly I think people are just curious,” said Gaster, adding that guests were being urged to bring in patio furniture if the winds kick up and prepare to hunker down for movies and home cooking Monday. “We’re just saying take advantage of today as your beach day and get it while you can.”