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Tropical Storm Beryl bears down on Memorial Day weekend

May 27, 2012|By Matt Pearce

Ain’t no sunshine till Beryl’s gone: Tropical Storm Beryl is set to drench parts of Florida and Georgia for Memorial Day as the storm makes landfall this afternoon and tonight.

National Weather Service forecasters predicted Sunday that winds could reach up to 65 mph. 

“Gusts to hurricane force are possible over portions of northeastern Florida and southeastern Georgia tonight,” the weather service said Sunday.

 The weather service also expects three to six inches of rain to accumulate from northern Florida to southeastern North Carolina.

The storm has been a damper for vacation life along the Southeast coast, but many visiting families are sticking tight to their travel plans.

"So far it's kind of business as usual,” Joe Murphy, a spokesman for the Ritz Carlton in Amelia Island in northern Florida, told the Associated Press. He said he was not seeing a lot of people checking out or trying to get off the island.

The AP reported that the storm had forced the cancellation of a jazz festival and Memorial Day events in Jacksonville, Fla., and forced the evacuation of campers on Cumberland Island, which is off the Georgia coast and reachable only by boat.

But the AP also reported that business was hopping at the Red Dog Surf Shop in Florida's New Smyrna Beach, with customers buying boards and hoping to crash some gnarly waves, despite warnings from weather officials.

“Dangerous surf conditions, including rip currents, are expected along the coast from northeastern Florida to North Carolina over the remainder of Memorial Day weekend,” the service added.

The storm is expected to weaken to a depression by Monday as it hits the Southeast and then spins northeast.

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matt.pearce@latimes.com

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