Slow-moving Tropical Depression Beryl dumped more rain on parts of the Southeast coast on Tuesday, a day after drenching areas and claiming the life of an 18-year-old who was swallowed up by a rogue wave.
Beryl is also expected to build up strength and "could regain tropical storm status" on Wednesday as it approaches South Carolina, the National Hurricane Center stated.
The body of Ritchy Dauphin washed ashore Tuesday morning, about 12 hours after he went missing in violent surf near Daytona Beach, Fla., NBC affiliate WESH-TV reported. Dauphin and a friend had ignored the rip tides and high surf.
"They were pretty far away," Tacorey Williams, one of Dauphin's friends, told WESH. "I don’t know how many feet, but they were above waist."
"He tried to help," she said of the friend with Dauphin, "but the wave pushed him (Dauphin) farther" out.
Beryl left little property damage after making landfall with 70 mph winds around midnight Sunday in Jacksonville, Fla.
But 20,000 customers remained without electricity in the city Monday evening.
Moreover, Beryl dumped 10 inches of rain in Sewanee County, Fla., while nearby areas wound up with 3 to 6 inches.
Some areas could see 15 inches of rain by the time Beryl moves out.
Beryl, which weakened to a tropical depression, had maximum sustained winds near 30 mph as it moved northeast along the coast.
A frontal system moving south from the Great Lakes is expected to cause the storm do a U-turn and push it back out to sea later in the week.
The Atlantic's six-month storm season officially begins Friday, but the season got off to an early start with Tropical Storm Alberto forming earlier this month off the coast of South Carolina.
Jacksonville, because of its location on an inward curve in the Florida coast, rarely takes a direct hit from a tropical storm or hurricane.
"I hope this is not a sign of things to come," said Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. "Normally the hurricanes are forming out in the Atlantic and as they come toward the coast of the United States, the Gulfstream has a tendency to turn them north."
The rain was welcome on the Georgia coast for bringing some relief from persistent drought. According to the state climatologist's office, as of May 1, rainfall in Savannah was 15 inches below normal for the past 12 months.
Emergency officials said minor flooding was reported near the coast, but the ground was quickly soaking up the water. Winds had died down considerably.
"We've needed it for a long time," said Ray Parker, emergency management director for coastal McIntosh County south of Savannah, who said the worst damage came by trees falling on two homes overnight. "Most of it soaked right in before it had a chance to run off. It fell on an empty sponge."