Dangerous surf, rip currents likely in coastal areas

ATLANTA, May 28: Tropical Storm Beryl gained strength as it closed in on the southeastern US coast, dumping rain and whipping up heavy surf from northeastern Florida to South Carolina.
The second named storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season was approaching hurricane strength ahead of an expected landfall early today, the US National Hurricane Center said yesterday.
The powerful pack of thunderstorms has unleashed tropical
storm conditions along the coast in northern Florida and Georgia, disrupting Memorial Day weekend plans for travelers and some beachgoers.
At 0830 ist Beryl had sustained winds near (112 kph) and was located about (121 km) south south-east of Brunswick, Georgia, the hurricane center said.
An increase in wind speeds to (119 kph) or more would make it a Category 1 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson intensity scale.
Forecasters, however, say they do not expect a significant change in Beryl’s strength before it comes ashore and predict it will weaken to a depression by tonight.
Beryl was moving west toward the US coast at (16 kph), with tropical storm force winds near the coast of northeastern Florida.
The storm’s approach led some vacationers in Georgia to leave early, said Alden Alias, the front desk manager at The King and Prince Hotel on St Simons Island, a popular coastal resort town.