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Beryl brings tornado scare, rainfall
Dry conditions may follow, damage crops
W 052912 BERYL RAIN 01
Toting son Joshua, 5 weeks, Angela Smith of Statesboro makes a dash for her car after grocery shopping at Bi-Lo as rains from Tropical Depression Beryl continue dampen the activities of local residents Tuesday. Smith had to make due with a tiny umbrella after her large one was broken in winds earlier in the day. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

    Tropical Depression Beryl dropped up to four inches of water — as well as a tornado warning — Tuesday on parts of Bulloch County, but local farmers hope more rainfall comes in the near future.
    Bulloch County Public Safety Director Ted Wynn said the tornado warning, issued around 11 a.m. and lasting until 11:45 a.m., was prompted by a severe thunderstorm over the Rocky Ford area that contained tornadic activity.
    However, no twister ever touched down, and there was no report of damage. Strong winds toppled a couple of trees on Pulaski and Westside roads, but no further damage was reported.
    The tornado warning included parts of Screven and Jenkins counties as well, but 911 employees in both counties reported no actual tornado or damage.
    Bulloch County Agent Carol Knight said the rain definitely will help area crops, but if dry conditions follow, the drought could still harm corn, peanuts and other crops. National Weather Service meteorologist  Mike Emlaw said Beryl dumped a significant amount of precipitation, but there is no sign of rain following behind.
    While some parts of the Bulloch County area only saw about an inch and a half of precipitation, areas “east of Statesboro got 3½ to four inches,” Emlaw said. The estimates are unofficial, but come from radar information, he said.
    A cold front will arrive later this week, but no more rain is expected anytime soon, he said.
    Knight said the rains “came at a welcome time.” The rainfall may delay planting for some, but it will help recharge the ground moisture.
    “We’re definitely happy to see it,” she said. “We’re needing this something fierce.”
   
    Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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