Norbert Weakens To Tropical Depression Over Mexico

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

PUERTO SAN CARLOS, Mexico (AP) -- Norbert weakened to a tropical depression over the northern mountains of mainland Mexico on Sunday, after ripping off roofs and forcing thousands to seek shelter in Baja California.

The storm's remnants are expected to reach New Mexico and waterlogged western Texas Sunday afternoon. State and local officials in Texas plan to activate an emergency operations center Monday in Presidio, where an earthen levee is struggling to hold back the swollen Rio Grande.

Norbert hit mainland Mexico's Sonora coast early Sunday as a Category 1 hurricane with winds near 85 mph (140 kph) after crossing the Baja California peninsula on Saturday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Sonora Civil Protection director Willebado Alatriste said authorities were still evaluating the damages, but they did not appear to be widespread.

The storm weakened rapidly as it moved inland. But the hurricane center warned it could dump up to 6 inches of rain over northwestern Mexico - possibly producing flash floods or mudslides - and up to 2 inches over the portions of the U.S. southern high plains.

Norbert barreled through Baja California as a Category 2 hurricane Saturday, uprooting trees and causing widespread flooding. Thousands of residents fled to shelters in school buses and army trucks as floodwaters rose in their homes.

Off the southwest coast of Mexico, Tropical Storm Odile also weakened into a depression. The storm had flooded about 200 homes in the Acapulco area.

The hurricane center said it would not issue more advisories on Norbert and Odile.

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