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Hurricane Beryl Pounds Texas: Everything You Need to Know and What It Means for Meetings

Hurricane Beryl

Hurricane Beryl has left millions without power and caused the cancellation of more than 1,600 flights after coming ashore on the Gulf Coast of Texas.

The storm cut power in Houston, including at George R. Brown Convention Center, which has gotten back on-line to host a major agriculture convention.

The storm moved through Jamaica and some areas of the Caribbean as a Category 5 hurricane last week, making it the earliest Category 5 storm on record.  

Despite this, many airports and resorts in both the Caribbean and Mexico are now open just days after the storm hit. The Cayman Islands reported no major impact on the tourism sector, and while some tree damage and power outages occurred in Jamaica, the island has now returned to regular operations as well.

[Related: Lawyerly Advice on What to Do When a Hurricane Strikes]

Texas Hit Hard

The same cannot be said for the southern areas of Texas. While the hurricane was downgraded to a Category 1 (and later further downgraded to a tropical storm when it landed in Texas this week) Beryl knocked out power in more than 2.5 million homes and has killed at least eight across Texas and Louisiana. While the Caribbean and Mexico had and minimal damages facing a stronger storm, southeast Texas is facing a difficult recovery as extreme heat also bears down on the region this week.  

Houston is the major population center hit hardest by Beryl, with the city’s mayor, John Whitmire, saying that the storm’s effects have left roads flooded, bayou’s spilling over their banks and power lines downed across the city. Most of the Houston’s multiservice centers are also without power, including the George R. Brown Convention Center, which this week was set to host the 96th Texas FFA State Convention. The convention announced on its Facebook page that all events and meetings scheduled on July 8 were cancelled. The convention has since announced that power had been restored to the convention center and released an updated convention schedule.  

A heat advisory is also in place on Tuesday for southeast Texas, where temperatures could hit up to 105 degrees and high temperatures in the 90s are forecast across the region. Tornado watches are also in effect for more than 1 million people across parts of eastern Texas, northern Louisiana and southern Arkansas through early Tuesday.  

[Related: 5 Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses at Outdoor Events]

A Rare Occurrence

Most hurricanes of Beryl’s magnitude occur in the period between August and October, known as the Atlantic hurricane season. But Beryl was upgraded to a Category 5 on July 1, making it the earliest recorded Category 5 hurricane on record.  

Early reports of Hurricane Beryl said that winds reached 165 mph and had already killed six people when it touched the island of Grenada and northeastern Venezuela. And while Beryl did downgrade in severity as it headed through Jamaica, Mexico and the U.S., this level of tropical storm is still a rare occurrence this early into the season.

The tropical storm is also expected to move across more U.S. states this week while continuing to downgrade in severity. States that may be affected include Arkansas, southern Missouri and Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and also parts of Canada.  

Read this next: What Hurricane-Impacted Planners Need to Do NOW

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Logan Pratt | Digital Content Coordinator

Logan Pratt joined Meetings Today in May 2023 as digital content coordinator, focusing on digital marketing efforts and covering breaking news stories for the Meetings Today website and newsletters. To send a press release or any information regarding the meetings and events industry please email