Tropical Storm Julio Lashes Mexican Coast

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico (AP) -- Tropical Storm Julio bore down on the resort-dotted tip of the Baja California peninsula on Sunday, prompting more than 2,500 families who live along river beds to evacuate.

Strong winds and sporadic rains buffeted the southern peninsula as police and emergency workers toured neighborhoods in Cabo San Lucas to evacuate families who live in homes of wood and corrugated roofs. They were taken to shelters around the town.

"We're expecting the worst of the tropical storm this afternoon," said Ernesto Ibarra, a municipal delegate.

The possibility of 3 to 6 inches of rain in the normally parched peninsula raised fears of flash flooding.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Julio was not expected to become a hurricane and could weaken before making landfall.

Most vacationers rode out the bad weather inside their hotel rooms, but some ventured out on shopping trips and excursions during a respite in rains around midday.

"They're very calm," said Jorge Castro, front desk manager at the hillside Hotel Finiterra. The 224 guests were warned to stay away from the ocean, but none made plans to leave early.

"They can see it's not a huge problem. Some have even gone out on activities, on tours, or sand biking," Castro added.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph Sunday and was centered about 20 miles (35 kilometers) south of the resorts at Cabo San Lucas. Tropical storm force winds extended 85 miles from the storm center.

The Mexican government issued a tropical storm warning from Punta Abreojos on the West Coast of the peninsula around the southern tip and up to Mulege on the East Coast.

Julio was moving north-northwest at 13 mph.

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