LUMBERTON — Tropical Depression Beryl brought a solid soaking to Robeson County as it headed northeast Tuesday night and this morning, but it had caused no significant problems beyond making motorists wary of flooded streets.
Between 1 and 2 inches of rain had fallen in Lumberton as of 7 a.m., according to Reid Hawkins of the National Weather Service in Wilmington, and the rain was continuing at 10 a.m.
“There’s a little bit going on. It’s probably going to be ending pretty soon,” Hawkins said, adding that Lumberton could expect an additional half inch of rain at the most before the rain finishes this afternoon.
Hawkins said no significant flooding had been reported in Robeson County. The National Weather Service said on Tuesday that Lumberton had seen above-average rainfall during the past month.
Winds were between 10 and 15 mph, with gusts between 20 and 25 mph, Hawkins said. The state Highway Patrol, Lumberton Police Department and the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office reported no weather-related accidents or damage.
The depression’s maximum sustained winds had increased to near 35 mph. Additional strengthening was expected and the U.S. National Hurricane Center said Beryl could regain tropical storm strength later in the day.
Beryl was expected to dump up to 6 inches of rain, with isolated amounts of 8 inches, in northeastern South Carolina and eastern North Carolina.
Skies were hazy and the sun occasionally peaked through Tuesday in Charleston while there was a hazy sun for sunbathers at nearby Folly Beach. Swimmers stayed close to the shoreline as the surf roiled and yellow caution flags flew from lifeguard stations.
By late afternoon, flood watches for areas south of Savannah, Ga., were dropped although flash flood watches remained in effect for the mid-South Carolina coast and flood watches were posted for the upper coast.
By 5 a.m. Wednesday, the depression was centered about 25 miles north-northeast of Charleston, S.C., and was moving east-northeast near 14 mph. On that track, forecasters said the depression was expected to skim along the South Carolina coast before moving back over the Atlantic.
Zarron Allen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jacksonville, said Beryl dumped 10 inches of rain in Sewanee County, Fla., while nearby areas wound up with 3 to 6 inches.
Forecasters had predicted that up to 4 inches could fall on parts of South Carolina, although dry air began to wrap into the system in Georgia and by late in the day, the forecast called for only about 2 inches of new rain.
The forecast from the National Hurricane Center said Beryl could regain tropical storm strength off the coast of the Carolinas on Wednesday. But even so, tropical storm force winds were expected to stay offshore so no coastal warnings had been posted. Beryl sloshed ashore near Jacksonville, Fla., on Memorial Day as a tropical storm. It is the second named tropical system of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane season that doesn’t officially begin until Friday.