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Tropical Storm Ushers In Memorial Day & The End of May’s #WriteMotivation

Tropical Storm season runs from 1 June to 30 November, every year. This year, we’ve had 2 Tropical Storms BEFORE 1 June. It’s going to be an interesting season, if this is any indication.

Tropical Storm Beryl's eye path leads right over my house!

Tropical Storm Beryl's eye path leads right over my house!

The last time Jacksonville, Florida had a direct hit was Hurricane Dora back in 1964. While Beryl (70MPH sustained winds) pales in comparison to the force of Dora (110MPH sustained winds), we still suffer the brunt of the storm as well as the long-term effects. Beryl will douse us with rain and winds for the next two days. As I sit and type this, squalls continue to batter my windows, even though they have diminished to gusts of 30MPH. And now we have our tornado warnings. (The back-end and northeast quadrant are always the worst part of the storm…and that’s the part that will likely hang around for the next two days.)


It’s just like any typical day around here. The sun is shining. There are a few clouds in the sky. Maybe a clear sky, even. And then the first bands start to show up. Very distinct clouds that make up the outer bands. They don’t produce any rain, but they  look really cool.

Downtown Jacksonville, FL as the first bands of Tropical Storm Beryl roll in

Downtown Jacksonville, FL as the first bands of Tropical Storm Beryl roll in

The winds pick up and the first affected are the beaches. DO NOT GO IN THE WATER!

The Atlantic Ocean is not known for its massive waves, and surfers barely get enough to maintain their balance most of the time. The majority of our surfers come out in times like this. THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO GO SURFING! I’ve seen it time and time again. A surfer thinks they can go out and “catch the waves”, “hang ten”, or whatever they say… While the waves look awesome and provide the Atlantic surfer some change in their usual wave height, the problem lies in what you CANNOT see. The rip current.  Of all the major storms I can remember, at least one person is either reported missing or hurt because of their own stupidity.

CASE IN POINT: The Coast Guard said three people and a dog were rescued from a sinking recreational vehicle by crews in Charleston Harbor late Sunday morning.

Jax Beaches as Tropical Storm Beryl begins his descent

Jax Beaches as Tropical Storm Beryl begins his descent

As the tropical storm moves in, the clouds become thicker, like any other rain system. Periods of on and off rain filter through. Sometimes you will even notice clear, blue skies in between. We even had our neighbor mowing and edging his lawn in between the bands. As the storm circles and the bands come in, you can still make out the distinct wall of clouds coming in, mixing with the regular rain clouds.

Tropical Storm Beryl - A new band, with a wall of clouds

Tropical Storm Beryl - A new band, with a wall of clouds

The light was fading and this is the last picture I could get of the wall of clouds coming in. Can you see the pink of the sun setting coming through an open part?

Tropical Storm Beryl - Wall of clouds coming in

Tropical Storm Beryl - Wall of clouds coming in

Preparations began late Saturday and early Sunday. Festivities for the area Jazz Fest were cancelled, as were all Memorial Day activities (Mayor Alvin Brown has assured us there will be another day to honor our military). Crews were working early Sunday to clear any limbs that might snap and disrupt power as well as debris that might get whipped about in the winds. Area bridges closed due to high winds around 8pm. Reports of early damage and power outages started around 10pm due to downed power lines and trees. It’s also possible that most of the construction sites, buildings, or other commercial areas have collected stormwater. There is a risk of flooding if a large volume of water is released into drains or nearby water bodies immediately. I hope they have an effective plan and stormwater modeling software, so that unnatural flooding can be prevented.

TS Beryl made landfall at the Duval/St. John’s county line, near Jacksonville Beach at around 12:10 a.m., with near-hurricane-strength winds of 70 mph. The worst part of a storm is the Northeast Quadrant, which usually spawns tornadoes and also has the most rainfall. The way TS Beryl’s path is, we will be getting dumped on for the next two days, causing about 15 inches of rain by Wednesday. The last time we had saturation like this was in 2008 and parts of our area were without power for 4 days. Trees, like the one below, would just fall over from the high winds as well as the weight of themselves. River Oaks are beautiful, but apparently do not grow their roots down deep to secure themselves very well.

How our trees uproot themselves after heavy rains and winds

How our trees uproot themselves after heavy rains and winds

So, yesterday was spent preparing for TS Beryl. No writing for me. But all my container roses and plants are secure in the garage. We moved all of our porch and patio items into the garage as well. No need to send our BBQ grill flying somewhere. Funny, though, our neighbors put their trash cans out to the edge of the road because Clay County said trash pick-up will continue as normal on Monday. But, seriously, 80MPH wind gusts…bye-bye trash cans!

All I can say, at least it didn’t end up like our preparation for Fatty Francis, which ended up in the ER because hubs got bit by a black widow!

Status of my #WriteMotivation goals for the Month of May:

  1. Complete the necessary blog posts for #WriteMotivation, maybe throw in a few “others” as well. DONE. DONE. DONE. DONE. And DONE.
  2. FORWARD MOMENTUM: COMPLETE! Rule for the First Draft is A single word is progress. Zero words is stagnation. And deleting words is regression. We always want progression and one word is AWESOME!:) now sitting at 22k for WIP#1! YAY!
  3. Provide unending support, cheering, and cookie flogging, to anyone who needs it. I HOPE THIS WAS COMPLETE! And I will continue it as long as people need it! 😀
  4. Complete Becca’s critique on her novel well before the end of the month. DONE! YAY!

And since today is Memorial Day, I will leave you with one final picture. REMEMBER. ALWAYS. FREEDOM IS NEVER FREE!

Memorial Day


I love my hubs and my Dad. I’m very proud of you and ALL WHO SERVE/SERVED!



  1. Ping from Tropical Storm Debby – Second to Hit this Season « WriteBackwards:

    […] TS Beryl came through on Memorial Day. A direct hit. She was quick and left with very little damage. (You can see my previous post on this here.) […]

  2. Ping from Stephanie Berget:

    Thanks for the pictures and commentary. My son lives in Tallahassee and he tells me about the storms. I’m glad everything turned out okay and congratulations on your goals. Good job!

  3. Ping from K.T. Hanna:

    So proud of you and your goals 😀

    And very glad that you didn’t go swimming <3 That storm was scary. I saw all your updates on FB and was just glad that you're okay

  4. Ping from Catherine Johnson:

    Yikes, that is close to you. Hope you are okay and great job on your goals LJ

  5. Ping from Leigh Caroline:

    No swimming! 😛
    And awesome job on your May Goals! Whooohooo!!! Keep it going! (30k to next month?)

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