Grace hits land in Mexico as a Class three hurricane

Strong winds will continue to haunt the region in the morning hours, said the National Hurricane Center.

Heavy rains with occasional amounts greater than a foot would put the risk of flash floods and mudslides over the weekend, the center said.

Veracruz, Puebla, Tlaxcala, Hidalgo, northern Querétaro, and eastern San Luis Potosí could experience significant flooding and urban flooding, as well as mudslides over the weekend. These areas can receive 6 to 12 inches of rain through Sunday with isolated totals of up to 18 inches, the hurricane center said.

Late Friday, the Mexican Civil Protection Agency in Veracruz issued a declaration of emergency for 22 communities before Grace landed.

The declaration gives the authorities access to resources to provide food, shelter and health care to the affected population.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said 7,829 civil defense forces, Department of Defense, Navy and Federal Electricity Commission personnel are on standby.

“I join the call to ask the people of Veracruz, Puebla, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas and Hidalgo to seek refuge with relatives and in shelters in high places,” said López Obrador.

On Saturday morning, Grace is expected to be way inland and weaken quickly as she moves inward.

“The latest NHC intensity forecast showed Grace dissolves over Mexico in about 36 hours,” forecasters said.

This is the second time Grace has met Mexico

Grace hit Mexico once before, tumbling through the Yucatan Peninsula Thursday before weakening into a tropical storm with sustained winds of 80 mph.

The east coast of the Yucatán, including Cancun, Cozumel and Punta Herrero, has had a hurricane warning since Tuesday as Grace became better organized as she moved west and hit Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.

Earlier this week, Grace also passed Haiti, which was recovering from a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that killed at least 1,941 people. According to UNICEF, around 1.2 million people, including 540,000 children, were affected by the earthquake.

CNN’s Karol Suarez, Gene Norman, Haley Brink, Michael Guy, Travis Caldwell and Judson Jones contributed to this report.

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