Hurricane Grace struck Mexico not once but twice. After hitting the Yucatan Peninsula on Thursday, August 19th, Grace went out to the Gulf of Mexico, gaining force, and then it headed towards Veracruz causing rapid flash flooding and wind speeds up to 80 miles per hour as the storm escalated into a Category 3 hurricane during the weekend, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Grace already hit Mexico once this week, moving through the Yucatan Peninsula on Thursday before weakening into a tropical storm, then turning into a major hurricane Friday night. On Tuesday, the storm also passed over Haiti, which is recovering from a recent 7.2-magnitude earthquake that killed over 1,900 residents and affected as many as 1.2 million people.
The storm began moving inland over Mexico on Saturday morning, sending strong winds and heavy rains across the interior portion of the country, the NHC reported. The storm is expected to dissipate as it moves inland.
Additional rainfall is expected across Veracruz, Puebla, Tlaxcala, Hidalgo, Queretaro, and San Luis Potosi, with a significant chance of flash urban flooding and a “likelihood of mudslides,” the NHC added.
Into Sunday, the NHC said Grace would produce an additional six to 12 inches of rain and potentially up to 18 inches in some locations.
Mexico’s civil protection authority in Veracruz issued an emergency declaration for 22 municipalities before Grace made landfall, according to CNN.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said there was a total of 7,829 personnel from the Ministry of Defense, the navy, and the Federal Electricity Commission standing by to render aid.
Lopez Obrador called on the cities that were underlined for the hurricane’s path “to seek refuge in high places with relatives and in shelters that are being set up” in a tweet on Friday, August 20th.
Grace was blowing maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour (201 km per hour), a Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, when it slammed into the coast near the resort of Tecolutla in Veracruz state in the early morning.
Grace smashed windows, downed trees, power cables, and telegraph poles, leaving debris strewn around Tecolutla, though there were no human casualties, local authorities said.
Storm Grace battered Mexico with torrential rain and howling winds early on Saturday after becoming one of the most powerful hurricanes in years to hit the country’s Gulf coast.
The category 3 storm was whipping up maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour when it slammed into Veracruz state on the coast.
The state governor said at least eight people were killed. He urged locals to seek high ground and warned several more rivers – in addition to the River Actopan – would soon flood.
Trees had come crashing down… many buildings were damaged, and the national power utility said over 500,000 customers had been affected by power outages.
Grace weakened quickly, and by mid-morning, became a tropical storm with top winds of 70 mph.
But the rain will persist. The National Hurricane Center said Grace was expected to dump 6 to 12 inches of rain over swaths of eastern and central Mexico this weekend.
Other areas could see up to 18 inches of rain, forecasters said, as they warned of more flooding.
Source: Yahoo News