Hurricane Grace Makes Landfall on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Grace made landfall in the predawn hours Thursday near the city of Tulum on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The Florida-based center said the storm came ashore about 15 kilometers south of Tulum with 130-kilometer-per hour winds and a dangerous storm surge of about one to two meters above normal tide levels. The heavy rainfall associated with Grace could trigger flash and urban flooding as well as mudslides throughout the region.Ahead of the storm, Quintana Roo State Governor Carlos Joaquín told reporters state and municipal civil protection officials will tour hotels in Tulum to evacuate those facilities unequipped to handle a Category One hurricane. A storm in that category has winds ranging from 119 kilometers to 153 kilometers per hour on the Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity.Forecasters expect Grace to move across the Yucatan Peninsula Thursday, and over the southwest Gulf of Mexico late in the day or early Friday. It is expected to continue to weaken as it crosses the peninsula but regain some strength once it moves back over water. The forecasters also say they expect Grace to be a hurricane once it makes landfall over Mexico’s mainland coast. At last report, the hurricane center said Grace’s winds had dropped to 75 kilometers per hour.Meanwhile, forecasters continue to watch Henri, which, at last report, was about 845 kilometers off the coast of North Carolina and a very strong tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 110 kilometers per hour, approaching hurricane strength.Weather forecasters expect Henri to become a hurricane within the next 24 hours and take a turn to the north. Forecasters are advising people in the coastal northeastern United States and Canada to continue monitoring the progress of the storm as it is likely to affect those areas early next week. (Some information for this report was provided by the Associated Press news agency.) 

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