Beryl cancels Memorial Day events in NE Florida

Published On: May 28 2012 02:40:22 PM EDT   Updated On: May 28 2012 02:59:26 PM EDT

Memorial Day events across northeast Florida were put on hold Monday as a rare early season tropical storm crossed the area with 60 mph wind gusts, bands of heavy rain and roads blocked by downed trees and power lines.

Tropical Storm Beryl came ashore early Monday near Jacksonville Beach with near-hurricane-strength winds. Beaches were closed as high winds and rain continued well into the morning.

At one point, more than 40,000 people were without power in Jacksonville and Nassau and St. Johns counties. No injuries were reported.

There was standing water on some roads, and a few streets in Riverside were flooded as wind spilled the St. Johns River over its banks.

Memorial Day services in Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Green Cove Springs and Interlachen were all cancelled, as was a scheduled parade in Palatka.

Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown said he was working with all the stakeholders to reschedule the event.

Brown announced Saturday afternoon that the Jacksonville Jazz Festival would not continue as planned on Sunday so the stages and equipment and streets cleared before the storm arrived.

In St. Augustine, a Gavin DeGraw concert Sunday night was cancelled when Beryl gained strength just as audience members were starting to arrive. The Jacksonville Suns cancelled Monday's game.

The only major Monday event that appeared to go on despite the weather was the Blue Crab Festival in Palatka. Organizers said they did have to break down the tents for the arts and crafts show, but all other activities were going on as planned.


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