]Tropical Storm Beryl Heads North
Warning Issued for Coast of Massachusetts
By LING LIU, AP
BOSTON (July 20) - The Massachusetts coast was under a storm warning Thursday as Tropical Storm Beryl swirled northward in the Atlantic Ocean, and parts of Long Island and Connecticut were told to prepare for foul weather.
Tropical Storm Beryl heads north over the Atlantic Ocean.
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The tropical storm warning extending from Plymouth south and west to Woods Hole, including Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The warning means tropical storm conditions are expected in the next 24 hours. The storm may bring in tides of 1 to 3 feet above normal.
A tropical storm watch, meaning that a storm could develop within 36 hours, was issued from west of Woods Hole, Mass., to New Haven, Conn., and for eastern Long Island, east of Fire Island inlet and Port Jefferson Harbor in New York.
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"It's going to be in many ways much like you get in some of the winter-time storms," said Daniel Brown, a hurricane specialist in Miami. "It's going to be some wind and rain, but it's not going to be anything tremendous like a hurricane."
At Nantucket Moorings, workers were busy Thursday making sure their customers' boats were tied down securely, but they weren't panicking.
"That's all we can do for now - make sure lines are secure and people know that the storm is approaching," said Leigh Van Hoven, office manager of the company, which rents and sells moorings.
Kristine Larsen, an assistant manager at Larsen's Fish Market on Martha's Vineyard, said she has no television so she's been relying on fishermen for weather updates. She said the shop is prepared with a generator if they lose power.
"What are you gonna do? We can't physically pick the building up and move, so you just have to hope for the best," she said.
A tropical storm watch, meaning tropical storm conditions are possible within 36 hours, was issued late Thursday morning for eastern Long Island and parts of the Connecticut coast.
At 2 p.m. EDT, Beryl's maximum sustained winds were near 60 mph with higher gusts, well above the 39 mph threshold for a named storm but below hurricane strength of 74 mph.
The storm was centered about 125 miles south-southeast of New York City and about 195 miles southwest of Nantucket. It was moving north-northeast at about 11 mph, a motion that would bring the center of the storm near the southeastern Massachusetts coast Thursday night or Friday morning.
Harbormaster Tom Leach said the storm flag was raised at Harwich on Cape Cod on Thursday morning. He's been advising boat owners to double-up on their mooring lines.
He decided to bring his own boat, a Boston whaler, into his backyard before the storm hits.
"I want to sleep tonight. I don't want to be thinking about what's my boat doing?" he said.
On Wednesday, Beryl passed about 100 miles off North Carolina, where initial warnings about the second tropical storm of the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season did little to deter golfers, boaters or fishermen.
"It was blowing 15 to 20 (mph) and the sea was rolling up a little bit, but we've fished in worse," said Brynner Parks, 48, after a day on his 58-foot commercial fishing boat with six clients from Maryland.
A record 28 named storms and 15 hurricanes, including destructive Katrina, occurred during last year's June-November Atlantic hurricane season.
The first named storm of the 2006 season, Tropical Storm Alberto, swept over Florida in mid-June, then plowed northward along the coast past the Outer Banks. It was blamed for one drowning.