Published: Sat, October 27, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Mexico's Pacific coast residents prepare for Hurricane Willa

Mexico's Pacific coast residents prepare for Hurricane Willa

There is a large trough in the jet stream over the central and western US, and it is going to ingest post-tropical cyclone Willa and carry all of its rain and a bit of wind spin to the east coast.

The resort has now evacuated the first and second floors and have set up sandbags at various locations.

Before hitting the mainland near Isla del Bosque in the state of Sinaloa, Willa swept over an offshore penal colony about 60 miles (100 kilometers) out in the Pacific.

The storm is now about 75 miles northeast of Mexico's midwestern state of Durango, moving north at 25 mph.

Inhabitants of the city of Minatitlán in the state of Veracruz use boats to cross flooded streets
Inhabitants of the city of Minatitlán in the state of Veracruz use boats to cross flooded streets

"Exact impacts will depend on the particular track the storm takes up the East Coast, and some models take the system farther out to sea, which would minimize the wind and snow/rain amounts", Miller said.

They are being housed in 58 temporary shelters.

"They told us it was going to hit hard, and that we had to come here", said cook Maria Virginia Cardenas at the shelter.

"God, please just let us go back home unharmed".

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The Mexican army has deployed troops to roll out a disaster response operation in the area.

The U.S. hurricane centre warned that Willa 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.

In Mazatlan, a tranquil resort town with turquoise waters, the hotels that line the coast were largely empty as workers nailed plywood over the windows and built sandbag barriers to keep out the flood waters earlier in the day.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm's forward movement had sped up to 17 miles per hour (28 kph) late Tuesday and it was expected to rapidly weaken. Wind today will be from the east at 5 to 10 miles per hour - as the old saying goes, "an east wind is an ill wind", and this usually rings true as it typically indicates low pressure approaching from the south.

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In neighboring Nayarit state, Gov. Antonio Echevarria asked the federal government to send a helicopter, boats and rescue equipment. But it's still threatening to cause widespread damage when it hits later Tuesday. The AccuWeather forecast calls for the storm to start taking shape off the Carolina coast Friday afternoon before moving into the Northeast, with rain arriving by late Friday evening.

The town mayor, Hugo Moreno, said rescue workers were still trying to communicate with several seaside communities.

However, chances for flooding and severe tropical storm weather are minimal for the county, it said.

Officials in Oaxaca state said seven adults and five children had lost their lives in drownings or mudslides.

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