Willa weakens to tropical depression, still brings rain

Katie Ramirez
October 24, 2018

"Life-threatening storm surge, wind, and rainfall (are) spreading onshore", the United States hurricane center said. The category four hurricane brings- winds of 210 kilometres per hour.

Later that afternoon, Willa was 105 miles south of Mazatlan, a Mexican resort town along the Pacific shoreline in the state of Sinaloa.

Willa came ashore about 50 miles southeast of Mazatlan, a resort city with high-rise hotels and about 500,000 people, many of them US and Canadian expatriates.

Farther to the south, Tropical Storm Vicente had weakened to a tropical depression early Tuesday, but it was still bringing heavy rainfall that caused unsafe flooding in southern and southwestern Mexico.

MAZATLAN, Mexico Hurricane Willa roared over an offshore penal colony and closed in on Mexico's Pacific coast with 120 miles per hour winds today, threatening a major resort area along with fishing villages and farms. The hurricane center said Willa was expected to rapidly weaken overnight.

No coastal watches or warnings were in effect.

"Speaking by telephone, Garcia said he had hunkered down with others in a hotel waiting for the storm to pass through the town, listening to Willa rattle buildings as it drove onwards". He and his son, who also works at the hotel, stayed on the job, though the rest of his family had left the area.

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Halloween weekend will bring more than just ghosts and goblins - a nor'easter is creeping across the U.S. and is expected to drench the Northeast with wet snow, rain and other scary conditions. "Everything is closed", Hernandez said.

A powerful winter-like storm will batter the area this weekend with soaking rain, gusty winds and snow in some spots, particularly farther north. "But not everyone wanted to leave, even though authorities made it clear that he who stays does so at his own peril".

As Willa neared, the beach in Mazatlan nearly disappeared, with waves slamming against the coastal boulevard under looming black clouds.

Forecasters said the hurricane could bring 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 centimetres) of rain - with up to 18 inches (45 centimetres) in some places - to parts of Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa states, with flash flooding and landslides possible in mountainous areas. Thousands of people were evacuated, and schools closed on Mexico's Pacific coast Tuesday ahead of Willa's gales and downpours. A few surfers took advantage of the high waves even as workers boarded up windows on hotels, shops and homes.

Some families went to a Mazatlan convention center, which opened its doors as a shelter.

In a tweet Monday, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said he has asked the National System of Civil Protection to take all steps necessary to protect those in the hurricane's path as well as those affected by Tropical Storm Vicente, a weaker system tracking south of Willa that's also primed to make landfall Tuesday.

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