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2 Tropical Storms Douse Mexico

Weather: Ileana passes the southern tip of Baja California and heads out to sea, while Beryl hits land on the northeast coast and then quickly weakens.

August 16, 2000|From Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — Tropical storm Ileana churned past the southern tip of Baja California on Tuesday and headed out to sea, while another storm, Beryl, moved inland, dumping rain on Texas and northern Mexico as it weakened.

Ileana doused the Baja resort areas of Los Cabos with rain, but "nothing too severe," said Randy Lehr, the American manager of the Hacienda Beach Resort in Cabo San Lucas.

"It looks like we got lucky, and the storm passed by to the south," Lehr said in a telephone interview. Guests at his hotel were warned to stay out of the ocean, and some whiled away the time playing pool.

The Mexican government declared a hurricane warning for Los Cabos and areas slightly north as the storm's center whirled past about 50 miles south of the peninsula.

"There hasn't been any damage so far, and the communications systems are working fine," Baja California state spokesman Juan Antonio Flores said.

Ileana, with winds of 70 mph, may strengthen to reach hurricane status, the National Hurricane Center in Miami reported.

Civil defense authorities in Los Cabos met to monitor the storm as it brushed by, moving west about 12 mph. They had previously reported some outages in local telephone service due to the rains.

Meanwhile, tropical storm Beryl lumbered ashore on Mexico's northeast coast Tuesday, swirling over a sparsely populated stretch of coast about 110 miles south of the border cities of Brownsville, Texas, and Matamoros in Mexico.

The storm quickly weakened to a tropical depression as it dropped rain over northern Mexico, and the Mexican government discontinued most storm warnings for coastal areas.

The hurricane center reported that Beryl could bring rainfall of 5 to 10 inches, but it predicted that the system would probably dissipate by today.

Beryl's winds had fallen to about 35 mph, and the weakening system was moving roughly west about 9 mph.

Residents were evacuated from two low-lying fishing villages in the Gulf coast state of Tamaulipas and taken to improvised shelters at schools and a sports complex, the government news agency Notimex reported.

The National Weather Service canceled hurricane and tropical storm warnings for south Texas, where some heavy showers were reported.

Farmers in Texas said they hoped the thunderstorms would help ease a lingering drought.

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