Patricia slams Mexico; flooding still anticipated from weakened storm

Mexicans assess damage after Hurricane Patricia passes.
Mexicans assess damage after Hurricane Patricia passes.


Patricia, the strongest hurricane ever recorded at sea, was downgraded to a tropical depression late Saturday morning, with 35-mph winds, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

The remnants of Hurricane Patricia was dropping heavy rain over central Mexico on Saturday morning, a day after pounding coastal luxury resorts and impoverished villages alike as a Category 5 storm.

It had weakened slightly before striking southwestern Mexico’s coast Friday evening with crushing 165-mph sustained winds. By 7 a.m. CT it had weakened to a tropical storm, sapped by mountainous terrain, with 50-mph sustained winds. It’s expected to dissipate Saturday night.

In a tweet, emergency response officials in Mexico said airports in Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta have resumed operations.

Mexican officials had expressed cautious optimism overnight, with President Enrique Peña Nieto saying “damages have been minor to those corresponding to a hurricane of this magnitude.”

But officials expected to know more about the full scale of the destruction after touring the coast Saturday morning, and serious flooding and mudslide threats remain.

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