Hurricane Grace crossed over Mexico’s Gulf shore as a major Category 3 storm early Saturday, drenching small fishing towns and beach resorts as it made its second landfall in the country in two days.
The storm had lost power while crossing over the Yucatan Peninsula on Thursday, swirling through Mexico’s main tourist strip, but it rapidly drew in power from the relatively warm Gulf of Mexico as it moved toward the country’s mainland.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Grace had maximum sustained winds of 125 mph (205 kph) early Saturday when it made landfall about 30 miles (55 kilometers) south-southeast of Tuxpan. It was heading west at 10 mph (17 kph).
Forecasters said Grace would quickly lose strength as it swirled inland over a mountain range carrying its heavy rains toward the heart of the country, including the Mexico City region. Forecasters said it could drop 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 centimeters) of rain, with more in a few isolated areas — bringing the threat of flash floods, mudslide and urban flooding.
Hours before nearing shore, Grace caused strong winds, high waves and rain in the Veracruz communities of Tuxpan, Poza Rica, Xalapa and Veracruz city as well as in coastal towns in the states of Tabasco and Tamaulipas, Mexico’s meteorological agency said.
Fishermen pulled their boats out of the water and carried them inside harbors to prevent damage as the storm’s leading edge whipped at the coast. Merchants boarded up the windows of their businesses to protect them.
Authorities expect the central states and the Mexican capital to receive the impact as a tropical storm, with strong gusts and intermittent rains during the weekend.
Heriberto Montes Ortiz, the head of the General Technical Sub-Directorate of Mexico’s National Water Commission, said Grace could cause rivers and streams to swell as well as flooding in low-lying areas, landslides and damage to roads and highways.
The agency was monitoring rivers, dams and communities expected to see heavy rain, particularly in the states of Veracruz, Puebla, Hidalgo and Tlaxcala.
The hurricane hit early Thursday near Tulum, a Yucatan resort town famed for its Mayan ruins. Some families passed harrowing hours sheltering from cracking trees and flying debris.
As the storm approached, Carlos González grabbed his 1 1/2-year-old son and ran from his home with his wife to a shelter set up at a school, using his cellphone light to find his way through darkened streets.
“The only thing I have left is what I’m wearing,” the construction worker said. “I knew my house wasn’t going to stand it because it’s made of cardboard. When the wind came I was really scared and decided to leave.”
There were no reports of deaths, but many streets were blocked by fallen limbs and trees that pulled down power lines, leaving thousands in the dark Thursday.
Most businesses remained closed Friday, and the few that opened drew long lines of people waiting to buy tortillas and other food.
Quintana Roo state Gov. Carlos Joaquín said the storm had knocked out power to some 84,000 customers in Cancun and 65,000 in Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Puerto Aventura and Tulum.
Associated Press writer Felix Marquez reported this story in Veracruz and AP writer Fabiola Sanchez reported from Tulum.
Subscribe here for just .08 cents per day to read subscriber content, join the PVDN newsletter, and browse with site ad-free. Support local news.
Trending news on PVDN
- Government stops construction on four condominium developments in Puerto Vallarta for violations The Secretary of Environment (Semarnat) in Jalisco, Raúl Rodgríguez Rosales, reported that the government agency stopped the construction of four condominium developments in Puerto Vallarta for not complying with regulations.
- Investigation opened into taxi driver who intentionally hit and killed a woman in Puerto Vallarta The State Prosecutor’s Office is conducting investigations under the femicide protocol with a gender perspective, to clarify the facts which a woman lost her life due to being run over by a taxi, in what is believed to be intentional, in the municipality of Puerto Vallarta, yesterday, January 29, 2023, at approximately 8:09 p.m.
- With new explosion and 249 minutes of tremors in the last 24-hours, warning about Mexico’s most dangerous volcano is issued In the last 24 hours, at least 128 exhalations, 249 minutes of tremors, a minor explosion, and a volcanotectonic earthquake have been recorded, which is why the population is urged not to approach the volcano.
- Documentary, Malcom is Missing, takes you inside a daughter’s journey to find her father who went missing in Puerto Vallarta On Oct. 27, 2018, 68-year-old Canadian Malcom Madsen disappeared in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, having last been seen at a bar with his girlfriend, Marcela Acosta Ramos. The documentary, Malcom is Missing, takes you inside his daughter’s journey to find out what happened to her father. Madsen was a frequent traveller to Mexico, described by his…
- Mexico outsources justice in its most high-profile cases to the United States The Federal Prosecutor’s Office for the Eastern District of New York has become an outsourcing agency for the Mexican government, since at least in the last five years, drug traffickers and high-profile criminals, who were not prosecuted for their crimes in Mexico, have been brought to trial and sentenced in the United States. The trial…