Tropical Storm Beryl strengthens, nears US coast

7:22 PM, May 27, 2012   |    comments
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KATE BRUMBACK Associated Press

Tropical Storm Beryl is approaching hurricane strength as it moves closer to the southeastern U.S. coast, where it is expected to make landfall in hours.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami reported Sunday evening that Beryl had maximum sustained winds of 70 mph, just below hurricane-strength, which is 75 mph. 

Forecasters said Beryl is not expected to strengthen much more before landfall late Sunday or early Monday, after which it should weaken steadily. 

As of 8 p.m. EDT, the storm was about 75 miles east of Jacksonville, Fla. The hurricane center said the Jacksonville pier was already reporting winds of 50 mph. Beryl was moving westward at 10 mph.

Tropical storm warnings were in effect for the entire Georgia coastline, as well as parts of Florida and South Carolina.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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