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Tropical Storm Norma brings heavy rainfall to Mexico as Hurricane Tammy makes landfall in Barbuda

Topical Storm Norma was continuing on its path into mainland Mexico on Sunday as Hurricane Tammy landed on the Caribbean island of Barbuda.

On Sunday morning, the National Hurricane Center said that mainland Mexico faces threats of flash flooding and heavy rainfall as the tropical storm continues moving north-northeastward across the Gulf of California.

The center of Norma is forecast to reach the west coast of mainland Mexico on Sunday and move inland by Sunday night or Monday morning, the NHC said in its latest advisory

On Sunday morning, Norma’s maximum sustained winds were near 60 mph, with winds that extended outward up to 115 miles from the storm’s center, according to the NHC. 

“Little change in strength is forecast today, and Norma is expected to approach the west coast of mainland Mexico as a tropical storm,” NHC said. 

Hours after Norma came ashore near the resort city of Los Cabos at the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California, Hurricane Tammy made landfall on the Caribbean island of Barbuda.

Both storms were Category 1 hurricanes when they made landfall.

Tammy came ashore Saturday night with 85 mph winds. In an update early Sunday morning, the hurricane center said the storm was centered about 70 miles north-northwest of Barbuda and about 55 miles east-northeast of Anguilla.

Tammy was moving north-northwest, and hurricane warnings remained in effect for the islands of Barbuda, Anguilla, St. Martin and St. Barthelmy, while a tropical storm warning was discontinued for Saba and St. Eustatius. 

Mexico Tropical Weather
A black flag waves in the wind, signaling a closed beach, prior the arrival of the hurricane Norma in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Friday, Oct. 20, 2023. 

Fernando Llano / AP

Norma, once a Category 4 hurricane, moved ashore with winds of 80 mph near el Pozo de Cota, west-northwest of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The system later weakened to a tropical storm with 70 mph winds as it crossed the Baja California Peninsula, the center said.

Businesses in Cabo San Lucas had nailed plywood over their windows, and government personnel hung banners warning people not to try to cross gullies and stream beds after Norma regained strength and again became a major storm Friday.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said via X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that there had been no reported loss of life from the storm by Saturday night.

In Cabo San Lucas, curious tourists began to pick their way along debris-strewn beaches after the storm passed.

Authorities urged people to stay at home Saturday night. There were still families in shelters in Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, though officials did not say how many. Around 200 people were in shelters in La Paz.

Its languid pace raised the possibility of severe flooding. Norma was expected to dump six to 12 inches of rain, with a maximum of 18 inches in places across southern Baja California and much of Sinaloa state.

John Cangialosi, a senior specialist at the National Hurricane Center, said the area is vulnerable to rain because it is a dry region generally.

“Six to 12 inches of rain is what is generally forecast, but there could be pockets of up to 18 inches of rain and we do think that will be the most significant impact that could result in flash and urban flooding and mudslides,” he said.

Baja California Sur Gov. Victor Castro said on X that “because it’s moving slowly, greater damages are anticipated.”

But little damage was initially reported. Some trees and power poles were down, but there were no reports of injuries.

Police in San Jose del Cabo rescued two people from their truck when a surging stream swept it away early Saturday. Some informal settlements, away from the hotels that serve tourists, were isolated by rising water. Some neighborhoods lost electricity and internet service.

The federal government posted 500 marines to the resort area to help with storm preparations.

By late morning, the area’s streets were littered with palm fronds and other debris and essentially deserted except for occasional military patrols. Strong winds whipped traffic signs, trees, and power lines.

Hotels in Los Cabos, which are largely frequented by foreign tourists, remained about three-quarters full and visitors made no major moves to leave en masse, officials said. The local hotel association estimated about 30,000 tourists were in Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo on Friday.

Airports were closed but San Jose del Cabo airport director Francisco Villaseñor said he expected flights to resume by midday Sunday.

Tammy hit two weeks after Tropical Storm Phillippe swept by Antigua and Barbuda dumping 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters) of rain and plunging both islands into darkness. The slow-moving system was forecast to bring up to 12 inches (30.4 centimeters) over a twin-island nation, where the devastation of Hurricane Irma in 2017 and Philippe’s recent wind damage and flooding were still fresh memories.

“This means therefore, that the earth is still somewhat saturated and with additional rainfall, the potential for flooding is elevated,” Prime Minister Gaston Browne said in a nationwide broadcast Friday. He urged residents to take all necessary steps to secure life and property.

Government offices, banks and most non-retail businesses closed early on Friday to allow staff to prepare. Residents rushed to stock up on necessities, causing gridlock throughout St John’s and near popular shopping centers and supermarkets.

Local disaster management officials announced plans to open about 40 shelters in communities throughout the country.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/tropical-storm-norma-rainfall-flash-flooding-mainland-mexico-hurricane-tammy-barbuda/ Tropical Storm Norma brings heavy rainfall to Mexico as Hurricane Tammy makes landfall in Barbuda

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