Hurricane Beryl leaves widespread damage in Jamaica, targets Mexico and Texas

The storm will likely hit the Yucatan Peninsula next.

ByMax Golembo, Daniel Amarante, and Meredith Deliso ABCNews logo
Friday, July 5, 2024
Hurricane Beryl strengthens back into a Cat. 3 storm as it nears Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula
ABC's Faith Abubey tracks Hurricane Beryl.

Hurricane Beryl has weakened to a Category 2 storm on Thursday, after leaving flooding and widespread damage on the island of Jamaica late Wednesday.

Beryl's center passed just 45 miles south of Kingston, Jamaica, as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 mph.

Beryl was the first major hurricane -- at least a Category 3 -- to pass this close to Jamaica since 2007.

By Thursday afternoon, Beryl had weakened to a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 110 mph.

The hurricane passed just south of the Cayman Islands Thursday morning, bringing hurricane-force winds and storm surge that could produce a water rise of 4 to 6 feet as well as half a foot of rain.

Beryl was the first major hurricane -- at least a Category 3 -- to pass this close to Jamaica since 2007.

Now over open water, Beryl is forecast to continue its slow weakening trend. However, it is still forecast to be a powerful storm as it heads toward Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula late Thursday into Friday.

After making landfall in Grenada earlier this week, Beryl's next landfall will likely be on the Yucatan Peninsula, where major resort areas such as Cancun, Playa Del Carmen and Tulum are under hurricane warnings. In Tulum, a mandatory curfew goes into effect at 4 p.m. local time due to the storm.

Beryl could be a Category 1 hurricane as it reaches the Mexican resorts with 80 mph winds, storm surge up to 3 feet and up to 8 inches of rain. It is forecast to make landfall just south of Cancun on Friday morning.

By Friday evening, Beryl should cross into the southern Gulf of Mexico and weaken into a tropical storm.

As Beryl moves over the Gulf, in the direction of the U.S.-Mexico border, it could re-intensify back into a hurricane, with winds near 75 mph ahead of landfall sometime Monday morning. Right now, it's too soon to tell exactly where it will make landfall along the Gulf Coast, but models are currently predicting just south of the U.S.-Mexico border.

RELATED: Action News producer and fiancé among tourists stranded in Jamaica as Hurricane Beryl approaches

Regardless of Beryl's strength, it is expected to bring heavy rain to southern Texas and could produce coastal flooding on the Texas Gulf Coast, from Galveston to South Padre Island, and the Florida Panhandle.

In addition, the prolonged period of onshore winds along the U.S. Gulf Coast could create rough beach conditions, including a risk for rip currents this holiday weekend.

Jamaica assessing damage


amage has been reported in southern Jamaica after Beryl battered the island.

At the height of the storm, hundreds of thousands -- about 65% -- of customers were without power. Jamaica Public Service said teams are making remote assessments and waiting on an all-clear from emergency management to make ground assessments and begin the restoration process.

One of the main cell providers in Jamaica -- Digicel -- has been down since the overnight hours and is working on network restoration.

RELATED: At least 6 dead as Beryl heads toward Jamaica as a major hurricane; cruise ships rerouting

The island's three major airports closed on Tuesday as the storm approached, stranding travelers. Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay said it will reopen at 6 p.m. local time Thursday. Guards at the airport told ABC News the facility sustained some damage.

Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston said it plans to reopen Friday at 5 a.m. local time. It saw some minor damage from the storm, including a small section of the roof of the passenger boarding pier that blew off.

It is unclear when Ian Fleming International Airport in Ocho Rios will reopen.

ABC News' Faith Abubey contributed to this report.