Remains of Beryl soak Ga., Fla. coasts

Tropical Storm Beryl after making landfall near near Jacksonville Beach, Fla., early Monday, May 28, 2012. CIMSS

Last Updated 3:19 p.m. ET

(AP) SAVANNAH, Ga. - The remains of Tropical Storm Beryl soaked beach vacations and some Memorial Day remembrance services in southern Georgia and northern Florida on Monday and knocked out power to tens of thousands, though emergency officials said it hasn't brought any major damage.

The storm made landfall just after midnight Monday near Jacksonville Beach in Florida with near-hurricane-strength winds of 70 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. Sustained winds had died down to about 35 mph, leading forecasters to downgrade the storm to a tropical depression and cancel all warnings and watches less than 11 hours after it made land.

Joyce Connolly, of Hurricane, W.Va., a doctor of theology, came to Jacksonville Beach for the holiday and the Jacksonville Theological Seminary's graduation. Connolly said she and her daughters had watched the weather forecasts about Beryl, but thought they would be OK.

"It definitely changed our vacation to unfortunate circumstances that we're not happy with, but you just have to live with it," Connolly said. On Sunday, she said they "actually walked over here on the little walkway, the boardwalk, and the wind was just too bad."

National Hurricane Center

Bands of rain sprayed Georgia's 100-mile coast, where veterans groups braved the weather as they marched ahead with traditional graveside observances for Memorial Day. At Savannah's historic Bonaventure Cemetery, where a plot reserved for veterans had small American flags at each tombstone, the downpour paused just as a crowd of about 100 starting arriving.

"When we were setting up, I had a different shirt on and I got soaked to the skin. My socks and my underwear probably are, too," said Jim Grismer, commander of American Legion Post 135 in Savannah. "I had so many people trying to talk me into moving it inside. But I said then you can't have the live firing salute and the flag raising."

People attending the American Legion Post 21 Memorial Day observance head for cover just as the event was about to begin, when rain from the outer bands of Tropical Depression Beryl passed through the Summerville, S.C., area Monday, May 28, 2012. Organizers quickly elected to cancel the observance due to the inclement weather.
AP Photo/The Post and Courier, Brad Nettles

Robert Schulz, an 80-year-old former Marine who served in the Korean War, held a folded umbrella in one hand as he saluted with the other during the service. Schulz said he and his wife briefly considered skipping the ceremony for the first time in 10 years.

"I said it would be terrible if nobody showed up," Barbara Schulz said. "We had to come for our veterans."

Tropical Storm Beryl could snarl holiday traffic
Tropical Storm Beryl makes landfall

Except for ruining holiday plans, the rain was welcome on the Georgia coast, which has been parched by persistent drought. In McIntosh County south of Savannah, emergency management chief Ray Parker said a few roadways had been flooded for a brief time but the ground was quickly soaking up the 1 to 2 inches of rainfall that had fallen so far.

"We've needed it for a long time," said Parker, who said the worst damage in his county had been caused by trees falling on two homes overnight. "We were lucky that we didn't get 3 to 4 inches in 30 minutes. Most of it soaked right in before it had a chance to run off. It fell on an empty sponge."

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