MAZATLAN, Mexico — Hurricane Lane struck a sparsely populated stretch of Mexico's Pacific coast south of the city of Culiacan on Saturday after battering the resort of Mazatlan with strong winds and rain.
The storm -- which hit land at Category 3 strength -- flooded streets, forced the airport to cancel flights and knocked out power in parts of Mazatlan, a resort and retirement community popular with Americans. It forced officials to cancel the annual Independence Day parade.
After Lane reached land, the National Hurricane Center in Miami downgraded it to Category 1.
Residents evacuated people in low-lying areas and set up shelters for the displaced.
At 8 p.m. Saturday, the storm was about 30 miles north-northwest of Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state and a center for the region's booming agriculture and food-processing industry. It was moving north at 8 mph and had maximum sustained winds of 85 mph.
The city of 750,000 is also notorious as the hometown of several of Mexico's top drug traffickers.
The hurricane caught Mazatlan off guard after it took an unexpected turn toward the mainland. Many people awoke to strong winds and a pounding rain. Previous projections had Lane heading toward the Baja California peninsula.