Sunday, May 27, 2012

Southeast coast braces for rain, wind from strengthening Beryl

Miami (CNN) -- It was a picture perfect start to the Memorial Day weekend for beachgoers basking in sunny skies from northeastern Florida to South Carolina -- but it won't last long.

They can thank subtropical storm Beryl, which gained strength Saturday evening and threatened to dump several inches of rain and bring heavy winds just in time to put a damper on a part of the long holiday weekend.

Even before a drop of precipitation had fallen ashore, Beryl already rustled up ocean water and prompted "red flags" -- warning people to stay out of the surf -- around the region Saturday. The National Weather Service reported at least 20 people were rescued off Tybee Island, Georgia, located 15 miles east of Savannah, by 12:20 p.m. due to rip currents.

"I'm trying to ignore (the storm)," Annette Wedzel told CNN affiliate WJXT from Jacksonville Beach, Florida, on Saturday. "I'm trying to decide whether to stay or leave." Read More