MEXICO CITY (AP) — The first hurricane of the eastern Pacific season brushed past the coastal shoulder of southwestern Mexico Monday, keeping just off shore while sweeping the coast with heavy rains and winds that raised the threat of flash floods and mudslides.
Hurricane Enrique moved past the Cabo Corrientes bulge during the night, and slowed slightly as it headed toward a possible run at the southern end of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula as a tropical storm by midweek.
Enrique’s maximum sustained winds were holding around 85 mph (140 kph) early Monday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
“Weakening is forecasted over the next several days,” the center said. “Enrique is expected to weaken below hurricane intensity by tomorrow, but is still expected to be a tropical storm when it moves near the southern Baja California Peninsula on Wednesday.”
On Monday, the storm’s core was about 65 miles (105 kilometers) west of Cabo Corrientes — the bulge on the coast south of Puerto Vallarta — and moving north-northwest at 5 mph (7 kph).
The hurricane center said Enrique could drop 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 centimeters) of rain, with isolated maximums of 18 inches (45 centimeters), over Colima state and coastal sections of the states of Jalisco, Michoacan and northern Guerrero.
A hurricane warning was in effect from Playa Perula to Cabo Corrientes. A tropical storm warning was posted from Punta San Telmo to Playa Perula and from Cabo Corrientes to Punta Mita.
Mexico’s Defense Department has said troops were being deployed to aid civilians in advance of the storm.